Although overall US consumer and business spending on dining [pdf] only increased 1.6% year-over-year in Q1 2011, it grew 4.2% for fine dining and 5.2% in the quick service restaurant (QSR) vertical, according to Q1 2011 Spend Sights Dining report from American Express Business Insights. These increases were offset by a flat 0% increase in the casual dining segment.
Average Consumers Increase Fine Dining Spend More
Interestingly, average consumers (including all US consumers) increased their fine dining spend 3.5% compared to Q1 2010, while ultra-affluent consumers (those spending the most) only increased fine dining spend 3.1%.
Corporate Dining Spend Grows Most
Corporate dining spend grew the most compared to the same quarter a year earlier, with increases of 8% in fine dining spend and 6.4% in QSR spend. In addition, February was the most popular month in Q1 2011 for eating out, as spending across all consumer and business segments grew 3%, compared to only 0.2% in January and 1.6% in March.
Businesses Lead Growth in Entertainment
Spending on entertainment saw healthy growth across all business and consumer segments in Q1 2011 compared to Q1 2010. Business segments in particular reported strong growth, with the corporate segment increasing entertainment spend 11.9% and small business entertainment spending growing 7.7%.
Ultra-affluent consumers closely followed with a 7.3% year-over-year increase, while average consumers reported a still healthy 5.1% increase.
Art Beats Golf with Corporations
Although corporate golf spending grew a healthy 7.2% in Q1 2011, this was only about one-third of the 22.2% growth rate in corporate spending on performing arts and cinemas in the quarter. Consumers also showed an increased interest in golf compared to the same quarter a year earlier, with average consumers spending 3.3% more and ultra-affluent consumers allocating an extra 4.5% to golf.
Cold Weather Freezes Theme Parks/Nature Spend
Cold winter weather appears to have severely affected the theme parks/nature entertainment niche, which reported a steep 13.5% drop in spending. In comparison, overall spending on performing arts & cinemas grew 3.8%, while overall golf spending increased 2.7%.
Consumer Reports: Sentiment Stagnates
The July 2011 Consumer Sentiment Index of the Consumer Reports Index, which measures how consumers are feeling financially when compared with a year ago, rose slightly to 48.5 from the previous month’s score of 46.2, but continues to lag in negative territory. The July 2011 score is also comparable to the July 2010 score of 45.2.
About the Data: American Express Business Insights leverages proprietary data from 90 million global American Express cardholders.