n 2018, households in the European Union (EU) spent over €600 bn (equivalent to 3.8% of EU GDP) on ‘catering services’, i.e. restaurants, cafés, canteens, and the like, Eurostat reported.
Household expenditure on catering services represents 7.0% of their total consumption expenditure.
The share of household expenditure devoted to catering services was largest in Ireland (14.4%), ahead of Spain (13.0%), Malta (12.6%) and Greece (12.4%, 2017 data). In contrast, the lowest share was recorded in Romania (1.9%), followed by Poland (3.0%) and Lithuania (3.4%).
Lithuania – highest decrease in catering services expenditure, Romania the highest increase
Between 2008 and 2018, the share of total household expenditure on catering services increased in most EU Member States where 2018 data is available. The largest increase was recorded in Malta (from 8.2% of total household expenditure in 2008 to 12.6% in 2018, or an increase of 4.4 percentage points (pp)), followed by Ireland (+2.9 pp) and Hungary (+2.5 pp).
In contrast, household expenditure on catering services decreased in 4 EU Member States where 2018 data is available. The largest decrease was recorded in Romania (from 2.9% in 2008 to 1.9% in 2018, or a decrease of 1.0 pp), Spain (-0.8 pp), Slovakia (-0.5 pp) and the United Kingdom (-0.2 pp), while it remained stable in Luxembourg.