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Attitudes towards Leisure Venue Catering - UK - May 2016

“Secondary spending at leisure venues remains in the line of fire, with most diners willing to cut back on their food and drink spend if ticket prices rise. The pressure therefore remains on operators to justify the catering spend. Initiatives like themed events and menus and produce from local suppliers offer potential to engage diners, in light of the consumer research.”
– Ashleigh Kirk, Foodservice Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Technology can help caterers engage users and improve the food and drink service experience
  • Themed food and drink can offer much-needed support to position catering as more central to leisure venue visits
  • Wider foodservice can offer cues for steps needed to combat poor perceptions on quality and freshness

While leisure venue catering is a very fragmented market, it reaches the majority of Britons, underlining the significant potential of catering as a source of secondary revenue for operators and in enhancing the visitor experience.

Secondary spending, however, remains in the line of fire, with most diners willing to cut back on their food and drink spend if ticket prices rise, while only a few leisure sectors succeed in converting most visitors to use catering. The appeal of discounts and set price bundles exemplifies how a savvy shopping mentality prevails. The pressure therefore remains on operators to justify the catering spend, with their quality credentials and freshness key areas to address.

This report examines consumer behaviour surrounding and attitudes towards leisure venue catering. Mintel defines leisure venue catering as being any food- and drink-based (including alcoholic drinks) catering offer at specific leisure venues. Catering facilities include format such as kiosks, hatches, catering units, refreshment stands, bars, cafés and self-service or full-service restaurants.

Within the confines of this report, Mintel defines leisure venues as licensed bingo clubs, cinemas, historic buildings, museums and art galleries, nightclubs, tenpin bowling centres, spectator sport venues, theme parks, theatres, and zoos and wildlife parks.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • Market drivers
            • Leisure industry forecast to grow over 2015-20 as economy improves
              • National Living Wage puts pressure on margins
                • The rise in number of children is a positive, given high usage among families
                  • Companies and brands
                    • Cinemas aim to make the occasion more special
                      • Themed food and drink creates theatre around catering
                        • Better-for-you choices aim to appeal to health-conscious consumers
                          • Three players dominate cinema sector
                            • National Trust leads by visits among visitor attractions
                              • ATG in the lead in a fragmented theatre sector
                                • Top three account for half of lanes in tenpin bowling
                                  • Leading catering/hospitality groups have a presence at leisure venues
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Two in three adults use leisure venue catering
                                        • Figure 1: Types of leisure venues visited and use of catering, February 2016
                                      • Family and friends are top companions for using leisure venue catering
                                        • Figure 2: Who people use leisure venue food and drink facilities with, February 2016
                                      • Discounts can help to manage footfall
                                        • Figure 3: Leisure venue catering enticements, February 2016
                                      • Balancing the demand for quick and leisurely experiences
                                        • Figure 4: Leisure venue catering preferences, February 2016
                                      • Secondary spend remains in line of fire
                                        • Figure 5: Attitudes towards leisure venue catering, February 2016
                                      • What we think
                                      • Issues and Insights

                                        • Technology can help caterers engage users and improve the food and drink service experience
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Themed food and drink can offer much-needed support to position catering as more central to leisure venue visits
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Wider foodservice can offer cues for steps needed to combat poor perceptions on quality and freshness
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Leisure industry forecast to grow over 2015-20 as economy improves
                                                            • National Living Wage puts pressure on margins
                                                              • Rise in the number of children is a positive, given high usage among families
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Leisure industry forecast to grow over 2015-20 as the economy improves
                                                                  • Days out benefit from consumers’ extra spending power and tourism
                                                                    • Figure 6: Percentage-point change in what extra money is spent on, November 2009-April 2016
                                                                  • National Living Wage puts pressure on margins
                                                                    • The rise in children is a positive, given high usage among families
                                                                      • Technology ownership provides opportunities for leisure operators
                                                                        • Figure 7: Selected leisure venue catering enticements, February 2016
                                                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • Cinemas aim to make the occasion more special
                                                                        • Themed food and drink creates theatre around catering
                                                                          • Better-for-you choices aim to appeal to health-conscious consumers
                                                                            • Three players dominate cinema sector
                                                                              • National Trust leads by visits among visitor attractions
                                                                                • Gala retains the lead as bingo admissions fall further
                                                                                  • ATG in the lead in a fragmented theatre sector
                                                                                    • Top three account for half of lanes in tenpin bowling
                                                                                      • Leading catering/hospitality groups have a presence at leisure venues
                                                                                      • Leisure Venue Segments and Brands

                                                                                        • Cinemas
                                                                                          • Figure 8: Cinema operators in the UK, by number of sites and screens, ranked by number of screens, September 2015
                                                                                        • Visitor attractions
                                                                                          • Figure 9: Leading attraction operators and organisations, by visitor numbers, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                        • National Trust
                                                                                          • Merlin Entertainments
                                                                                            • Tate
                                                                                              • Zoos
                                                                                                • Figure 10: Visitor numbers of top zoos in UK, 2013-14
                                                                                              • Bingo clubs and casinos
                                                                                                • Figure 11: Top Bingo brands in the UK, by outlet numbers, February 2016
                                                                                                • Figure 12: Top Casino operators in the UK, by outlet numbers, February 2016
                                                                                              • Nightclubs
                                                                                                • Figure 13: Leading UK nightclub operators, by number of clubs, February 2016
                                                                                              • Theatre
                                                                                                • Figure 14: London theatre revenues and attendance figures, 2013-2015
                                                                                              • Tenpin bowling
                                                                                                • Figure 15: Leading tenpin bowling operators, by number of sites and lanes, April 2016
                                                                                              • Spectator sport venues
                                                                                                • Figure 16: UK spectator sports attendances, by leading segments, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                              • Music concerts
                                                                                                • Selected catering operators
                                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                  • Customisation and premiumisation offers a more luxurious experience
                                                                                                    • Cinemas aim to make the occasion more special
                                                                                                      • Visitor attractions look to overnight occasions
                                                                                                        • Themed food and drink initiatives create theatre around catering
                                                                                                          • Pop-up catering seen at leisure venues, particularly at night
                                                                                                            • Better-for-you choices aim to appeal to health-conscious consumers
                                                                                                              • Digital technology targets today’s connected consumer
                                                                                                                • Beacon technology is being introduced
                                                                                                                  • Pre-order app explored by selected venues
                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                    • Two in three adults use leisure venue catering
                                                                                                                      • Family and friends are top companions for using leisure venue catering
                                                                                                                        • Discounts can help manage footfall
                                                                                                                          • Balancing the demand for quick and leisurely experiences
                                                                                                                            • Secondary spend remains in line of fire
                                                                                                                            • Leisure Venue Catering Usage

                                                                                                                              • Two in three adults use leisure venue catering
                                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Types of leisure venues visited and use of catering, February 2016
                                                                                                                              • Stark differences in conversion rates
                                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Share of visitors who have bought food/drink at a leisure venue, by venue type, February 2016
                                                                                                                              • Cinema catering struggles to reach older visitors
                                                                                                                              • Who Do People Use Leisure Venue Food and Drink Facilities With?

                                                                                                                                • Family are top companions when using leisure venue catering
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 19: Who people use leisure venue food and drink facilities with, February 2016
                                                                                                                                • Half of diners use leisure venue catering with friends
                                                                                                                                  • Visiting as a couple is more prevalent among over-45s
                                                                                                                                  • Leisure Venue Catering Enticements

                                                                                                                                    • Discounts appeal widely
                                                                                                                                      • Off-peak discounts can manage footfall
                                                                                                                                        • Interest in off-peak discounts among nightclub visitors
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Leisure venue catering enticements, February 2016
                                                                                                                                        • Faster payment and pre-order apps appeal to 16-24s
                                                                                                                                          • Vending opportunities
                                                                                                                                          • Preferences When Eating Out at Leisure Venues

                                                                                                                                            • Balancing the demand for quick and leisurely experiences
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Leisure venue catering preferences, February 2016
                                                                                                                                            • Flexibility in freshly made and ready to eat options
                                                                                                                                              • Meal choice varies by leisure venue usage
                                                                                                                                                • Appeal of local products and producers
                                                                                                                                                  • Healthier choices and calorie displays appeal to more than one in five
                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Leisure Venue Catering

                                                                                                                                                    • Secondary spend remains in line of fire
                                                                                                                                                      • 86% say food and drink should cater to all budgets
                                                                                                                                                        • Meal deals can secure catering spend
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Attitudes towards leisure venue catering, February 2016
                                                                                                                                                        • Pushing a quality perspective
                                                                                                                                                          • Non-visitors can provide a separate catering revenue stream
                                                                                                                                                            • Themed menus would appeal to half of users
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Market Drivers

                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-20

                                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                  To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                  Attitudes towards Leisure Venue Catering - UK - May 2016

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