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North East Christmas spend increases

Date 10 Dec 2007

UK consumers plan on spending 18% more than last year in pubs, restaurants and nightclubs over the Christmas period, according to Deloitte. The business advisory firm has estimated the average budget at £143 per person, with the North East spending slightly more at £146 per person. In total pubs and restaurants throughout the UK look set to benefit from £6.8 billion in earnings during the Christmas period.

The increased spend reverses the belt-tightening seen last year when consumers said they would spend less than the previous year. While both men and women have said they'll spend more this year, there is still a significant difference in their average budgets. Men plan on spending £178, while women will spend £109.

The survey also found significant differences in spend around the UK. People living in the North West plan on spending the most this year, with their average budget of £178 being £22 more than the next largest spending region, London. The Welsh expect to spend the least - just £105 each.

John Charlton, partner at Deloitte's Newcastle office said: "Despite some concerns in the pubs and restaurant sector about loss of business when the smoking ban was introduced this summer, our research suggests the ban has encouraged rather than deterred consumers from eating out this Christmas. Despite some economic challenges, people expect to continue to eat out, because they want to and because they're busy.

"Our research also shows that there is a particular opportunity for operators to boost revenues over the Christmas period by catering to family groups and older people. Families are more likely to eat out together since the smoking ban came into force and providing friendly service, affordability and sensible menu choices will help attract them. Smart operators will also recognise that music can also be an alienating factor for family groups or older people and look to adjust their offering accordingly."

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