December spend in restaurants up 10% as average transaction value continues downward spiral

10/01/2018 - 07:00
Overall consumer spend on restaurants, combining both dining out and online orders, increased by 9.7% year-on-year in December while the average value of transactions continued to fall, new data from Barclaycard has found.

Both results continued trends that ran consistently throughout 2017 on Barclaycard's monthly tracker.

The bank, which claims to see nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, found that in-store restaurant spending over the festive month increased by 7.9% on 2016 while online spending shot up 31.6%.

December’s results mean that ammount of money spent dining in the restaurants ended 2017 up 11.4% while spending on delivery websites and apps increased by over 20% for the year.

Average transaction spend in December was down 5.4% on 2016, bringing the overall average for the year down 7.4% on the previous 12 month-period.

Meanwhile, the data found that pubs experienced a similar rise in sales over December, with spend up 8.6%. Online orders were down 14.4% year-on-year.

Paul Lockstone, managing Director at Barclaycard, which tracks consumer spend in all sectors including clothing, supermarkets and airlines, described the overall results for December as "reassuring".

“Following months of consumers ‘feeling the squeeze’ of inflation, spending in December was comparatively robust, boosting an otherwise muted quarter.

“It’s reassuring to see that we continue to prioritise the festive period as a time to spend on celebrations with friends and family, although many of us took advantage of the sales to do this, indicating we are now a nation of value seekers.

“Much as we saw in 2017, caution continues to be the prevailing sentiment amongst Brits, however, as we head into 2018, it will be interesting to see whether consumers rein-in after Christmas in anticipation of future financial shocks, and what methods they use to help keep their budgets on track.”

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