Thursday, 7th December, 2017

Hospitality sector sees 40% rise in company card spend in month leading up to Christmas

As bars and restaurants across the UK gear up for the annual Christmas party season, data from Worldpay suggests as much as £100 million could be spent on company cards in the run-up to Christmas, a rise of 40% compared to the average.

In London alone, Worldpay expects corporate card expenditure to reach as much as £36 million, with the City of London accounting for £6.4 million, up 45% compared to the average.

Employees in the Capital might be the biggest spenders in pure value terms, but Worldpay’s data suggests bosses in Nottingham, where corporate card spend in bars and restaurants rises by as much as 64%, are the most generous when it comes to opening the expense account over Christmas. By contrast, employees in Luton can expect a far more restrained festive period, with corporate card spend on entertainment up by just 23%.

Worldpay estimates that company cards will account for 6% of the total value of transactions processed across the hospitality sector, with total spending on all cards expected to exceed £1.7 billion in the month leading up to the Christmas break.

Commenting on the data, James Frost, UK CMO for Worldpay, said: “From the rows of office workers in party hats, to the cordoned off private areas and calls for hush during speeches, walk into any pub or restaurant at this time of year, and it’s easy to see just how valuable the corporate market is to the hospitality sector at Christmas.”

“It would be a sad day indeed, were we to lose the tradition of the office Christmas party. Thankfully, our data suggests there is little cause for concern. And while many workers will celebrate with a few drinks on the company card, that’s to say nothing of the many millions more which employees will fund out of their own pockets on team lunches and festive nights out with colleagues.”

Biffa