Over-55’s are the real influencers for going out to eat and drink


A latest GO Technology report, from hospitality tech provider Zonal and insight firm CGA by Nielson, sheds light on the key decision makers driving hospitality venue choices. The study, which surveyed over 5,000 UK adults, found that people aged 55 and older are the primary influencers in determining the venues people choose to visit for food and drink. This demographic accounts for 40% of these influencers, nearly twice the number of those under 25 years old (21%).

The findings serve as a reminder that influence in the hospitality sector extends beyond young, digitally-savvy consumers. A majority of consumers (61%) report that their decisions on whether to go out and where to eat or drink are either entirely or partially influenced by others, highlighting the significance of this older age group in the industry.

The report further emphasises the value of these influential consumers, who spend more time and money in the trade than non-decision makers. Thirty-two percent of this group drinks out weekly, and they spend an average of £10 more per month on eating and drinking out. They also frequent a wider variety of venues, visiting over seven different brands in the past six months.

Factors influencing venue choice include proximity to home (47%), value for money (35%), and availability of a customer’s preferred food or drink (26%). The most important sources of information for venue recommendations are personal recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues (56%), followed by a combination of sources (27%), the press (26%), friends’ recommendations on social media (25%), and brand-related social media posts, reviews, or bloggers (21%).

Olivia FitzGerald, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Zonal, said, “With the cost-of-living crisis squeezing consumer spending habits, it’s vital that operators have a good understanding, not only of the key drivers influencing customers’ decisions when it comes to eating and drinking out, but also who the decision makers are. Interestingly, those aged over 55 are highly-influential – a reminder that it is not just the young who wield purchasing power and operators would benefit in engaging this age group as much as others.

“Operators who can capitalise on these influences and influencers, and shape their communication, marketing and overall experience with these factors in mind, will ultimately gain that important advantage in an increasingly competitive market.”

Karl Chessell, Director – Hospitality Operators and Food, EMEA, CGA by NIQ added, “With spending so tight and competition so intense, it’s more important than ever to understand the influences behind visits to pubs, bars and restaurants. Our research highlights how the cost-of-living crisis has sharpened people’s focus on price and made convenience and familiarity more important. These factors all play to the advantage of managed pub and restaurants groups, who tend to offer better value, accessibility and trust than independents. 
But with influential consumers now so demanding, brands need to deliver dependably great experiences. While digital avenues like social media, review sites and Instagrammers are increasingly important, our research makes clear that old-fashioned recommendations among friends are still the king of influences—and consistency is the best way to earn them.”
Category: News
Tags: CGA by Nielson, GO Technology report, Karl Chessell, Olivia FitzGerald, Zonal