Further evidence of fundamental changes in consumer behaviour because of the recession has recently emerged. A report published by Allegra Strategies (sponsored by McDonalds) revealed that the amount we spend on informal eating out (where a meal cost £15 or less) has fallen for the first time in 40 years. They estimate that 15,000 jobs have been lost in this sector in the past year and they warn that this trend will continue as one in five people plan to eat out less over the next 12 months.
Ethnic restaurants are being particularly hard hit by this change in behaviour. Eating out has come a long way since the days of Berni Inns. In 1950 there were only 6 Indian restaurants in Britain and still only 2,000 by 1970. Now there seems to be 2,000 in every city – but the credit crunch is beginning to close them down.
Recession and the consequent change in consumer behaviour creates winners and losers. In this instance the losers are informal eating out destinations (particular those where a meal is in the £10-£15 range); and the winners are Sainsburys with their “Feed your family for a fiver” promotion and the “Dine in for £10” offer from Marks & Spencer.
Within your own business portfolio of products or services there will be winners and losers – have you identified which they are?