Eating Out and your Household Budget

Eating out refers to money spent on eating at pub restaurants, fast food chains, casual dining restaurants, and supermarkets. UK people's spending on eating out has been steadily increasing. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the UK eating out market is worth more than £40 billion.

Popular eating out options

Pub restaurants are the most popular choice when it comes to eating out. As per a 2012 survey, out of the total eating out visits 19% were to pub restaurants. Within the pubs, branded/managed pubs have witnessed more growth than the overall pub market. As of 2014, there are around 8,488 branded pub restaurant outlets in the UK. Among these, the leader is JD Wetherspoon with 905 pubs across UK as of March 2014. Other popular pubs are Hungry Horse, Taylor Walker, and Old English Inns.

Fast food chains are the second most popular eating out option in the UK. There are more than 5,000 fast food outlets. Among these, McDonald's is the most popular, followed by KFC, Pizza Express, and Pizza Hut. Other fast food options include Byron, Handmade Burger Co. and Ed's Easy Diner which specialize in handmade burgers.

Casual dining restaurants include popular brands such as Nandos, Wagamama, Prezzo, Yo Sushi, and Zizzi. The popularity of casual dining restaurant stems from the variety of cuisines available. Nandos is a South African restaurant; Wagamama and Yo Sushi serve Japanese food, and Zizzi and Prezzo offer Italian food.

Full-service restaurants include fine dining restaurants such as Gidleigh Park and Petrus, which serve European food; Andrew Fairlie, which offers French and Scottish food; Ocean restaurant, which offers British food; and The Ledbury providing European and French food. The popularity of full-service restaurants has been declining due to the variety, cost-effectiveness and convenience offered by casual dining restaurants.

Eating out options also include restaurants or cafes in supermarkets. As per a research, more than half of grocery shoppers regularly visit in-store cafes and restaurants. Options include Giraffe restaurants from Tesco's. Some Waitrose stores now serve deli foods, gourmet cheese, and wines. Marks & Spencer has deli-style restaurants at some of its outlets.

Eating out as part of the household budget:

On average, households spend £12 to £15 per head on eating out each week. So the total spend on eating out can be high for large families. You need to monitor this spend regularly and ensure it does not affect your other essential expenditures or savings.

Use our household budget calculator to see how much eating out contributes to your total household spending.