Rekom UK sector report reveals Gen Z to pay to party despite rising cost

Night club group, Rekom has found a whopping 88.5% of respondents to its survey will change or have already changed their socialising habits around going on a late night out, due to the cost-of-living crisis.

According to the latest Rekom Night Index, the bellwether quarterly report for the late-night leisure industry, more than a third (35%) of Brits say increased prices mean they will significantly reduce the amount they will go out, as total night out spend rises to £73.36 (March 2022: £68.03).

The survey reveals that people are more conscious of their budgeting when it comes to a late night out. Nearly half (46.4%) of respondents said they have a rough idea of how much they want to spend in total per month. 16.7% said they have a fixed amount in mind for the month they don’t exceed.

Over two fifths (43.5%) identified pricing as one of the top factors to consider when deciding where to go on a night out.

However, Rekom UK’s spend per head has increased by 16.5% over the past three months, and importantly, the survey highlights how nightclubs remain a significant thread to the fabric of our culture and society, particularly among younger generations.

Unsurprisingly, students are the highest demographic of society that go out 2-3 days a week (33.2%) compared to full-time workers (18.7%). 18-24s are staying out the longest, with the data showing that an average night out for a Brit lasts just under 5 hours.

This sits in line with the CGA Business Confidence survey which reported that younger consumers are the strongest returners to the hospitality industry, given they are less likely to be susceptible to higher energy consumption costs and have no major financial burdens such as ownership of property.

When it comes to cost-cutting, 18-24-year-olds are adjusting their budgets mostly in how they prepare for a night out. 43.4% said they would pre-drink at home more, 38.2% will buy cheaper drinks to have at home, and 29.4% will cut down on clothes shopping and hair and beauty treatments ahead of a night out.

Although these changes are less relevant for the nightclub sector, more worryingly, they could have a broader impact on all elements of the high street across both day and night-time economies.

With the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) having recently revealed that the UK night-time economy was worth £112.8bn in 2019, amounting for 5.1% of GDP and accounting for 1.95m jobs, it’s possible these small behavioural changes could cause wider macro-economic disruption.

Chairman Peter Marks said, “Clearly people are starting to consider the impact the cost-of-living crisis will have on their social lives and are putting budgets in place when planning a night out. However, I have confidence in the fact that while financial behaviours are changing, social habits are not.

“We know that as a nightclub business, we will remain resilient if we continue to prioritise well-invested propositions that are good value and relevant to our target audience. Because of this, our nightclubs continue to see a strong surge in attendance.

“This survey acts as an important reminder to all in the hospitality trade that we should prepare for consumer habits to change somewhat.

“It’s natural against the backdrop of a looming recession that people will choose to cut costs, but we must remember that people will always want to prioritise socialising with friends and come together to enjoy fun, shared experiences.

“If we continue to foster that clear enthusiasm for a night out, we will evolve and become stronger for it.”

Other highlights from the report include:

• Regarding spend breakdown on a night out:
o Predrink spend increased 15.8% to £13.21 (March 2022: £11.42)
o Food spend increased 4.1% to £16.34 (March 2022: £15.70)
o Entry fee spend increased 8.9% to £10.13 (March 2022: £9.30)
o Drinks in venue increased 3.7% to £20.29 (March 2022: £19.56)
o Additional category of daytime spend in preparation of a night out - £16.24
o 25-34 year olds spend the most, at £79.60
o 18-24 year olds spend the least at £69.60

• The average duration of a night out has increased to 4 hours 35 from 4 hours 17 in
March 2022
o Those aged 18-24 spend the longest out at 5 hours and 1 minute
o Those aged 25-34 and 55+ follow close behind at 4 hours and 56 minutes
o Women spend much longer than men out on a late night out, at 5 hours 6
minutes compared to 4 hours and 37 minutes

• 66.8% of people said spending time with friends was the main reason for going on a late
night out