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You’ll know by now that we’re big fans of the UK Eating Out Panel, which is the most accurate and insightful authority on eating out trends. It carries out 6,000 online interviews a month, so their finger is very definitely on the pulse.

Among its most recent findings regarding the past summer were the following:

• Ongoing consumer uncertainty is leading to ‘more mindful’ eating out behaviours. In other words, there are fewer spur-of-the-moment decisions to eat out.

• For the most popular eating out mealtime – lunch – frequency was fairly flat and average spend growth was sluggish.

• Pubs struggled most at lunch over the summer, possibly as a result of the World Cup and the hot weather which led many to the beach and the countryside.

• The shining light over the summer was breakfast, with frequency growing at its fastest rate for two years.

• The biggest winners at breakfast and lunch were coffee shops/cafés, while fast food, sandwich shops and supermarkets to-go all also profited at various day-parts from growing needs for convenient food to go, particularly as the summer heat drove an abundance of outdoor occasions.

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