A new report by TWC Trends shows the younger generation have been the most active, with 91% of consumers aged between 18 and 25 going out to drink or eat.

Overall, the biggest driver for going out to pubs, bars, and restaurants was a desire to socialise with friends and family. Younger consumers were more likely to also cite other occasions, including celebrations, filling time, and to work/study in a venue.

These figures demonstrate that, despite some caution among older generations in particular, penetration has returned to pubs, bars, and restaurants. However, what may not have returned is the same level of frequency and spend as pre-pandemic, since only a third of adults said they were going out to a restaurant, pub, or bar once a week or more.

According to Sarah Coleman, director of communications for TWC, this can, in part, be explained by a rise in home entertaining and socialising at home, a legacy of the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

She said: “Almost seven out of ten consumers say they have entertained friends or family at home in the last month, and/or they plan to do so in the next month. This could represent consumers who have enjoyed entertaining at home through the lockdowns and indeed those that are still not comfortable going out.

“Our data show that home entertaining with food from restaurants appeals to all age groups, with more than a quarter of consumers saying they would happily consider ordering food from a restaurant to eat at home when they entertain.”

The hospitality industry has been gearing up for a big festive season, but looming concerns about the new Omicron variant are leading to fears of a return to restrictions of some kind.

Coleman added: “We remain optimistic that it won’t come to that, for the sake of the industry, and we know from our research that over half of consumers are wanting to make up for lost time and really enjoy their festive celebrations this year.

“But, of course, if the situation deteriorates, operators will need to be prepared for an increase in demand for in-home solutions.”

This research is the first in a series of new mini reports from TWC Trends. The TWC Trends Autumn Edition 2021 series is based on the views and sentiments of more than 1,000 consumers across the UK. The research was conducted between 5th and 8th November.

• To find out more about the latest TWC Trends report, click here.

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