Hospitality sector set for festive cheer this Christmas as spend on restaurant dining is forecast to increase 14.4%

November 2, 2023 | Waterloo, Belgium
  • Retail and hospitality spend across 9 European markets expected to grow this holiday season  
  • Return to bricks and mortar stores as physical shopping increases (+4.8% YoY) 
  • As people look forward to celebrating in person with friends and family, spend on Clothing and Jewellery are set to see a surge, up +4.6% and +3.6% respectively 
  • Essentials, such as groceries, are expected to increase by +5.2% YoY 

Spending in restaurants is anticipated to increase this festive season as in-store dining across Europe* is expected to rise 14.4% YoY over the festive period between 1 November and 24 December, according to Mastercard SpendingPulseTM. Mastercard SpendingPulse measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment, including cash and cheque, and is not adjusted for inflation. The anticipated growth in retail sales across the nine markets measured in Europe shows continued consumer resilience.  

Natalia Lechmanova, Senior Economist, Europe at Mastercard Economics Institute: “Our latest SpendingPulse forecasts show cautious optimism among European consumers, many of whom will remain cost-conscious this festive season as navigating inflation, higher mortgage payments, and an uncertain economic environment. The good news for retailers and the hospitality sector is that there is a continued desire to spend, particularly on gifts and dining out.”

Key trends to watch in 2023 include: 

  • Building on the ongoing demand for in-person experiences and an eagerness to socialize this festive season, spending in the Restaurant sector is expected to increase by a +14.4% YoY across the nine European markets, with Poland (+21.6% YoY), leading the pack, followed by Italy (+18.1% YoY) and Spain (+15.5% YoY). This surge in eating out is driven by consumers’ intention to come together with family and friends during seasonal celebrations.  


  • As the pandemic reshaped consumer behaviours towards online shopping, this year’s consumers are taking a hybrid approach, blending brick-and-mortar stores and online. The forecasts suggest many are returning to the High Street this holiday season (+4.8% YoY) with this particularly evident in France (+7.9% YoY), Spain (+7.5% YoY) and Italy (+6.6% YoY).  


  • Clothing and Jewellery are at the top of consumer wishlists this year; these sectors are anticipated to increase by +4.6% YoY and +3.6% YoY respectively as consumers spend on both gifting and dressing to impress for the festivities. Anticipated clothing increases are most prevalent in Spain (+13.0% YoY) and the UK (+5.3% YoY), while spend on Jewellery is set to see strongest growth in Hungary (+8.0% YoY), the Netherlands (+6.1% YoY), Italy (+5.2% YoY) and the UK (+5.1% YoY).  


  • Essentials, such as groceries, are expected to increase by +5.2% YoY, primarily driven by inflation, but also by the desire from shoppers to indulge in delicacies reserved for special occasions. This is most pronounced in Spain (+13.5% YoY), Hungary (+12.1% YoY), and Italy (+7.8% YoY). 


*Mastercard SpendingPulse looks at nine European markets, including: the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and United Kingdom. Mastercard SpendingPulse reflects nominal spending and is not adjusted for inflation.   

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About Mastercard SpendingPulse

Mastercard SpendingPulse reports on national retail sales across all payment types in select markets around the world. The findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.  

Mastercard SpendingPulse defines “retail sales” as sales at retailers and food services merchants of all sizes. Sales activity within the hospitality sector (such as Airlines and Hospitality) are measured by SpendingPulse but not included in the total retail sales figure. SpendingPulse insights are not indicative of Mastercard company performance; insights and forecast are subject to change.   

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