Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King’s Leisure Spend Tracker reveals rise in Christmas dining out

Greene King's latest survey of leisure spending shows households spent more on eating and drinking o

Greene King's latest survey of leisure spending shows households spent more on eating and drinking out last Christmas. - Credit: Archant

Britons pushed the boat out over the festive period, spending more on eating and drinking out of the home compared with a year earlier, according to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker report.

The average British household spent £86.51 on Eating Out during December and £49.17 on Drinking Out, the survey shows.

As to be expected in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, both figures were substantially higher compared with November, by 5% and 8% respectively, but they were also each 2% ahead of December 2015.

In contrast, average spending in the Other Leisure category, which includes cinema, live entertainment and sporting events, fell by 10% compared with November to £69.54, representing a massive 20% decline on December the previous year.

This left the overall average monthly spend on out-of-home leisure laragely unchanged compared with November at £205.23 and around £15 or 7% lower year-on-year.

Kenny Skelton, digital and insights director at Greene King said: 'The Christmas period is a clear demonstration of consumer priorities as British households increased spending on Eating Out and Drinking Out at the expense of Other Leisure.

'These are increasingly 'protected' areas of spend with people unwilling to cut back on what they now consider essential leisure spending.'

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Although the decline in the Other Leisure category seen last month was in line with a pattern seen throughout 2016, the trend was exacerbated by a number of particular factors.

In cinemas, Star War's spin-off RogueOne failed to match the huge box-office success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015, and spending on live sports and other events was hit by Christmas Day falling on a Sunday.

The Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker is part of an omnibus questionnaire survey run on behalf of Greene King by YouGov and analysed in conjunction with Trajectory Partnership.

Paul Flatters, chief executive at Trajectory, said: 'December's data is the culmination of what has been a very positive 2016 for Eating Out and Drinking Out in Great Britain.

'While financial uncertainty has had a negative on aspects of Other Leisure spending – not helped by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's failure to match the heights set by its predicessor in 2015 – Eating Out and Drinking Out remain steadfast.

'As consumer confidence fluctuates, these aspects of consumer leisure portfolios remain robust and are too important for consumers to compromise.'