Pubs, bars & clubs benefited from a 43.5% boost in September according to a new report from Barclaycard. This was due to a combination of a return to work and after-work gatherings as well as an uplift from entertainment. Entertainment saw its strongest growth in more than two years (+28%), with new film releases, gigs and theatre shows encouraging Brits back to venues. Hospitality and Leisure more generally was up 7.8% but restaurants saw a decline of 2.1%.
The decline in restaurant spend may be flattening out with this week’s Market Recovery Monitor noting that there are signs of green shoots in the casual dining market.
It said, “After sustained growth in the 2010s, the casual dining segment has been substantially reduced during the pandemic. In this sector, the number of restaurants fell by nearly 1,300 between March 2020 and September 2021—nearly a fifth of the pre-COVID total. However, the downward trend has slowed lately, with (closure) numbers clipped by just 0.6% since July, and many casual dining brands are now dusting off expansion plans that were shelved 18 months ago. Further casualties are possible in this segment, but new openings, from ambitious start-up groups as well as established brands, are likely to gather pace”.
Raheel Ahmed, Head of Consumer Products at Barclaycard said: “The return of pupils and workers to schools and offices helped many sectors to see strong uplifts in September. Pubs, bars & clubs and the entertainment industry benefitted from post-work socialising.
“Consumers are, however, starting to feel the impact of rising prices on their personal finances, which is also hampering confidence levels.”