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Nightlife survey results ‘warning’ for hospitality trade

More than a third of UK consumers have reduced how frequently they go on a night out due to the cost-of-living crisis, a recent survey has revealed.

The cost-of-living crisis is impacting how frequently consumers choose to go out at night

Rekom UK, the UK’s leading late-night operator, commissioned a survey to explore how consumer behaviours towards nightlife have changed since autumn 2022.

The results of the Rekom Night Index showed 34.9% of respondents have reduced the number of times they go on a night out. Almost half (49.6%) said this was due to the rise in general living costs, followed by more expensive bills (42.8%) and the need to save any spare disposable income (33%).

Higher rent was cited as a main concern for more than a fifth of people (21.19%) aged between 25 and 34 years old.

The survey questioned 2,007 people aged 18 and over, including 1,000 18-21-year-olds and 500 students, from 29 June to 4 July 2023.

Peter Marks, chairman of Rekom UK, said “Our Night Index continues to show that due to the challenging economic situation, young people are going out less and choosing more cost-effective ways of socialising as they look to save any spare cash they can for more pressing financial priorities such as rent or general living bills. This will have a knock-on effect for the whole of the night-time economy.

“We should take this survey as a warning to sit up and take note of what’s going on – we hope that these findings highlight to all those trading in the industry the importance of remaining flexible in responding to changes in consumer behaviours.

“People are predisposed to come together, have fun and spend time with friends – it’s up to us as an industry to ensure we provide the right environment and adapt our business model to enable that to happen.”

Younger people ‘most concerned’

Younger people were most concerned about the long-term and are prioritising saving back-up funds (37.7%), compared with people aged 55 and over (21.7%).

The study also showed pricing remains a key factor for consumers when deciding whether to go on a night out or not, and this has increased by 6% since the last Rekom Night Index in March 2023.

For 27.8% of respondents, cheap or no entry fees were important in this decision, while 27% said good-value drinks were a priority.

Russell Quelch, executive director of Rekom UK, added: “The late-night sector must adapt and evolve as a result of these changing behaviours.

“There are definitely opportunities out there – it’s all about having the right strategy and proposition at the right time and engaging with the market.

“These factors are even more important during touch economic times where disposable income is lower than ever before.”

Earlier this month, the Night Time Industries Association revealed the UK industry lost 31% of nightclubs between June 2020 and June 2023.

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