Total spend on eating out in the UK was £34.5bn last year out, according to new research.
Food and grocery think-tank IGD has joined forces with foodservice research organisation Horizons, to produce a definitive figure for the the first time.
Their findings show an average spend on food and non-alcoholic drink outside the home of £47.57 a month for every man, woman and child in the country.
“By combining our research efforts, we have been able to come up with a final and definitive figure to show foodservice as a proportion of the industry for the first time,” said Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons. “The value of the sector is at its highest level ever, and is very important to the UK economy as a whole. While its value has been growing steadily over the last five years, the number of people eating out has increased even more rapidly with one in five meals now eaten out of the home.”
In total there are 55,700 restaurants and takeaways in the UK. Together with outlets such as hospitals, workplace canteens and schools, the foodservice sector represents 31% of the £112.5bn UK food and drink industry.
“Eating out in Britain is becoming more accessible and more affordable all the time,” said James Walton, senior economic analyst at IGD. “The British consumer has more choice than ever before in terms of where they go and what they eat.
“Foodservice presents a wealth of opportunities for food producers and manufacturers across the country. It is important that we have first class research and information on the foodservice sector and a credible and definitive figure as to what the sector is worth to the British economy.
“If you don’t know the value of something, you can’t track improvements or otherwise in the sector.”