54% rise in restaurant spending across Falkirk as diners move indoors for first time
Falkirk customers were happy to pick up the bill last week, figures suggest, as spending in restaurants rose when diners were allowed indoors.
But trade body UKHospitality said the end of all social restrictions this summer is critical to get the restaurant industry "off life support", as revenue is still well below pre-pandemic levels.
Banking firm Revolut analysed the data of its 9,000 customers in Falkirk in the seven days to May 23, as they sat down inside restaurants and cafes for the first time this year.
Diners spent 54% more over this period than they did the previous week when only outdoor dining was permitted - with one bill coming to a hefty £313.50.
However, spending was still 18% below a normal week in February last year.
Revolut data shows that spending on cultural activities such as cinema trips between May 17-23 was 68% below a normal pre-pandemic week in Britain.
In Falkirk, spending was 60% down, with 35-44 year-old men the biggest spenders in the area.
Overall, Falkirk residents spent slightly more on all activities over this period than they did the week before, including a 22% rise on transport expenditure.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “Many restaurants have been permanently lost as a result of the pandemic and there are others that, after months of closure and trading restrictions, have not yet reopened.
"A return to unrestricted trading is critical and means hospitality businesses will come off life support and be viable for the first time in almost 16 months, and enable companies to bring more staff back.”