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The cost-of-loving eating out

Louis Devane-Waters Consultant 28/09/2022

Consumer confidence has hit a record low in Q2 2022- the lowest in over 15 years. Now more than ever, consumers are needing to get the most out of their money.

Naturally, high price points can have negative effects on Brand Love scores – especially during a cost-of-living crisis. However, this is not a pattern we see in the case of Five Guys and Kaspa’s Desserts.

The Americanesque diner joints both score high for Brand Love, with Five Guys coming in at #11, and Kaspa’s at #6. Although, both are rated much lower for value.

The USP of bringing the overseas ‘diner’ feel to the UK might just be what piques consumers’ interest for the brands.

So, why do we love them so much?

BrandVue data suggests that the quality of their food is what persuades customers – both brands’ scores for quality of food are well above the market average – particularly Five Guys, who surpass the market by an impressive 23%. Despite feeling they are not great value for money, it is clear that consumers are willing to part with their cash in exchange for high-quality food.

Five Guys and Kaspa’s are relatively new additions to the UK, opening their first stores here in 2013 and 2012, respectively. Since then, they have seen rapid growth, with Five Guys operating in over 150 UK locations as of August 2022. Similarly, Kaspa’s now have 100 stores across the country, making them the fastest growing dessert diner in the UK. Perhaps viewed as exotic food stops that emulate American consumer culture, they differ from other brands within the fast-food market such as McDonald’s and Burger King – both cheaper outlets. The USP of bringing the overseas ‘diner’ feel to the UK might just be what piques consumers’ interest for the brands.

Appreciating value

Our consumer confidence tracker shows that 30% of respondents have ‘a lot less’ disposable income in comparison to the same period last year, which will likely result in consumers reconsidering how and where they spend their money. In accordance, price point will remain an important driving factor for Brand Love.

Brands such as Wetherspoons and Toby Carvery score high on value for money but lower on Brand Love. Perhaps in response to consumers adapting their spending behaviour, we have seen Wetherspoons’ penetration increase from 27% in the second half of 2021, to 32% in the first half of 2022. This hike in sales is likely a result of the current economic climate, with consumers becoming increasingly tight on spending and more inclined to opt for a cheaper dining experience.

Threat to the throne

With inflation at a record high, it is likely we will see increasing cutbacks on spending, meaning the hospitality industry will take further hits. Pubs and restaurants operate in an unprotected market which does not have the same insurance as that of supermarkets, whose goods are deemed essential.

Considering such, the brands that score high on value for money might be in the running to overtake those whose price points are less attractive.

Five Guys and Kaspa’s may sit high on our league table, but until the economic state of the UK takes a turn for the better, their positions could be vulnerable.

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