Casual dining 'well placed to recover' from pandemic as outlet growth forecast

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Casual dining 'well placed to recover' from pandemic as outlet growth forecast according to latest data from Lumina Intelligence Operator Data Index

Related tags Casual dining expansion Multi-site Lumina Intelligence

The 10 largest casual dining brands in the UK are forecast to grow their combined outlet count by 1.1% in 2022 to 5,566 sites, new data from Lumina shows.

According to the latest data from the Lumina Intelligence Operator Data Index, the growth is set to be driven by Pret A Manger, which is set to grow its estate by 7.5%; Nando’s by 4%; and KFC by 2.1%. 

In contrast, Pizza Hut Restaurants, Sizzling Pubs and Burger King are all expected to reduce the size of their estates.

The growth forecast for Pret follows an ambitious expansion strategy that will target consumers in suburban locations that are working from home. Last year the group set out plans to open 200 new UK sites in the next two years​ as part of an aim to double the size of its estate within five years.

In terms of fastest growing brands, by outlets, within the casual dining segment, Megan’s is set to see outlet growth of four sites or 28.6%; Sports Bar & Grill will add three outlets or 25%; and Pizza Pilgrims is set to increase its size by four outlets or 23.5%.

German Doner Kebab is forecast to add the largest net number of sites. The brand has achieved rapid UK expansion​ through franchise and a focus on delivery and takeaway trading.

Branded restaurants are expected to grow for the first time in five years by 1.2%, following decline from 2018 to 2021. Rosa’s Thai and Pizza Pilgrims are expected to lead outlet growth in 2022, following strong delivery trading throughout the pandemic.

Pub and bar brands are expected to grow minimally at 0.3% in 2022 after consistent decline in outlets from 2018. Sports Bar & Grill, BrewDog and The Lounges lead growth at 25%, 11.4% and 9.5% respectively.

Traditional fast food outlets are expected to increase by 0.8% in 2022, following consistent growth for the past five years. This segment was less vulnerable over the course of the pandemic due to brands being able to leverage trading through delivery, Lumina notes.

“Casual dining is well placed to recover from the impact of the pandemic,” says Katherine Prowse, senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence.

“This is apparent in the forecasted outlet expansion.

“More successful brands have been agile throughout the pandemic, closing poorly performing sites and re-evaluating location and product strategies, as well as pivoting to delivery. This puts them in a strong position post-pandemic.”

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s Operator Data Index here​.

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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