With Singles Awareness Day (15 February) hot on the heels of Valentine’s, Britain’s foodservice operators are being encouraged to focus on the growing trend of people eating and drinking out alone.
According to The NPD Group, there were 4.4bn solo eating out visits (including delivery) in Britain in 2019, accounting for over 38% of the 11.57bn visits in the foodservice market.
Solo eating visits grew twice as fast as overall visits in 2019 (up +6.8% versus +2.9%). Solo eaters have increased their average spend on food and beverages away from home by 16% in the five years to the end of 2019, versus an increase of 11% for the overall eating out market. Breakfast is where solo eating is most common, with visits having grown by almost +15% in the five years to the end of 2019.
What’s on the menu for solo eaters?
The quick-service ‘ethnic’ channel – including pan-Asian, Indian and Chinese food, as well as kebab outlets – has grown solo-eater visits the most in the last five years, with solo visits up 46% more than the total market. Pizza and Italian is appealing to lone eaters as well, with 34% more solo visits. Quick-service burger outlets, pubs and full-service restaurants have seen solo-eater visits grow by 30%, 28% and 10% respectively over the past five years.