Manchester has long has a reputation as a weekend party city. But these says, we’re all about ‘seven day socialising’.
So says new research which reveals that Monday-Thursday ‘midweek’ spend in Manchester has increased by 13.5% over the last four years, far outstripping the 7% of London, as Northern hospitality audiences become more balanced and diverse.
The data, provided by CGA, the industry-leading food and drink data insights company, shows that Manchester ranked third in a list of 12 Northern hotspots, with Leeds, York, Edinburgh and Birmingham also making the top five. London ranked thirteenth.
The analysis, conducted by Northern Restaurant & Bar (NRB), the North’s hospitality trade exhibition which takes place in the city next week, shows that the weekly leisure patterns of major Northern cities are rebalancing, says CEO Thom Hetherington.
“Restaurants and bars in cities like Manchester and Leeds traditionally did the vast majority of their business on the weekend, as drinkers and diners flooded in from regional towns and suburbs, whereas weekdays could be very quiet,” says Thom.
“This move towards ‘seven day’ socialising is welcome as it makes it much easier for restaurants and bars to manage stock and staff and evens out cashflow.”
Although ‘seven day’ socialising is seen as a traditionally ‘London’ phenomenon, Thom insists it’s not about copying the capital.
“It’s not about London per se, but ‘seven day’ socialising is clearly a good aspiration, and is an indicator of the commercial strength, balance and resilience of a city.
“It implies it has more than just a weekend party scene, with a strong commercial sector, city centre residents, and business and leisure tourism for a variety of attractions and events all driving spend and socialising throughout the week.”
What do Manchester’s restaurateurs make of the news?
“Traditionally the restaurant industry has been very much geared towards weekend trade,” says Simon Shaw, chef patron of El Gato Negro.
“Recent years have, however, thanks to a combination of factors – a rise in city centre dwelling, changing lifestyles, improved transport links, business growth and tourism – seen a shift in patterns, with a notable uplift in sustained mid-week business.
You can really see it here in Manchester, not just on an evening but during the day too; it’s a positive development and one that shows no sign of slowing.”
Perhaps we really are becoming 24 hour party people?