UK restaurant market facing fastest decline in seven years

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UK restaurant market facing fastest decline in seven years according to MCA Insight

Related tags MCA Insight Analyst Restaurant Market Casual dining Fine dining QSR Pub

The UK restaurant market is set to contract -3.1% to £18.8bn in 2019, its fastest decline in seven years.

That's according to exclusive research from MCA Insight – a leading research insight agency for the eating out markets.

MCA’s UK Restaurant Market Report 2019 indicates that large falls in the sales value and outlet volumes of independent restaurants is the cause of the overall decline of the UK restaurant market.

It attributes this to a “perfect storm” of rising costs, over-supply, and weakening consumer demand.

According to the report, the branded restaurant sector is expected to see sales growth in line with the overall UK eating out market of 1.9%.

It also notes that pubs and fast food outlets continue to outperform restaurants, with the latter “perfectly positioned” to satisfy the growing demand for lower-cost convenience offerings.

“Compared to 2018, fewer consumers are eating out in restaurants, which is resulting in an overall decline that’s driven by independent operators,” says MCA insight manager Katherine Prowse.

“Branded restaurants have maintained the visit frequency level they saw in 2018, albeit with increased promotional usage.”

Prowse adds that attracting younger consumers continues to be an issue for the UK eating out market, with 18 to 24-year-olds “trading out of the market” and opting for home delivery, buying less alcohol and ordering fewer courses.

“More so now than ever, operators need to focus on the key consumer trends that are shaping the market in order to drive regular footfall and sales growth,” she says.

“Branded restaurants are in growth, but the threat of delivery, fast food and pubs is not going anywhere.”

For more information and to find out how you can access the MCA UK Restaurant Market Report 2019, visit the website​.

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