New data released by Cardlytics has revealed that spend on eating out grew just 3% year-on-year in 2018, compared to 9% in 2017 and 17% in 2016.
The smaller increase was boosted by takeaways and deliveries, which were up 19% in 2018, with consumers spending more per order.
According to the data, which is based on the spending habits of 2.5m UK bank customers, spend per order on food delivery rose from £18.97 in 2015 to £20.56 in 2018, while on-site dining decreased from £21.73 in 2015 to £19.95 in 2018.
Older consumers are actually driving growth in order spend; people aged 49 to 58 years old spent on average £21.95 per order in 2018, compared with people aged 19 to 28 years old who spent £19.30.
As well as takeaways, coffee is as popular as ever, with spend in coffee chains up 5%, greater than any other category.
While coffee has grown, spend in bars has slowed, up 1% in 2018 compared to 8% in 2017, suggesting that people are swapping cocktails for a caffeine fix.
Fast food outlets were among the most impacted by slowdown in spend, with spending up just 1% in 2018, driven by younger consumers who spent 2% less in 2018. Burger and fried chicken brands saw the biggest declines, down 7% and 6% respectively.
The data suggests that healthier options are more popular, with spend on salads, soups and sandwiches up 5%.
“Delivery services continue to be the big success story in the UK,” says Duncan Smith, head of business development at Cardlytics UK. “Powered by the ease and speed of delivery apps, as well as endless choice, it’s unlikely this stellar growth will slow.
“As consumers increasingly opt for eating-in over dining-out, traditional bricks-and-mortar restaurants are feeling the pressure. Yet, facing into the headwinds by embracing these platforms, as well as other consumer trends, could well pay dividends. Tapping into areas like door-to-door delivery and click-and-collect, a desire for healthier choices and other new marketing platforms could be the recipe for success for brands in 2019.”