The restaurant and eating out market in the UK is dominated by fast food and quick-service restaurant chains. Of consumers surveyed on fast food chains in the UK, over half said they go to the biggest fast food restaurant, McDonalds and 42 percent go to KFC.
Although McDonalds is the biggest restaurant chain by revenue, in terms of quick service unit numbers, Subway ranks higher, with over a thousand more outlets in December 2015. As of 2016 there were 1,274 McDonalds restaurants operating in the UK.
An important segment in the quick-service restaurant market is coffee shop and sandwich shop chains. Costa coffee and Greggs are two of the biggest chains in this segment in the UK, generating revenues of 1.1 billion British pounds and 894 million British pounds in the 2016 financial year respectively.
One of the few non-fast food chains featured in the ranking is Wetherspoon, reflecting the popularity of dining in pub restaurants in the UK. The British pub chain offers reasonably priced meals in a casual pub environment. In 2016 Wetherspoon’s revenues were reported to be 1.6 billion British pounds.
The casual dining market is another important segment of the UK restaurant market, led by chains such as Pizza Express and Nando’s. Nando’s revenues have reported to have more than doubled since 2011, reaching around 809 million British pounds in 2016.