Restaurant and food service trends in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Although the EU referendum results shook confidence across the UK hospitality sector last June, the pub and restaurant industry has had a reassuring start to 2017. The Christmas and New Year trading period produced positive results for managed (chain) pub and restaurant groups in the UK, as shown by the Coffer Peach business tracker, with increases recorded in sales for both service types compared to the same period last year. According to Green King’s leisure tracker, households in Britain spent an average of 86.51 British pounds on eating out and 49.17 pounds on drinking out in December 2016, up 2 percent on the same period last year respectively. Barclaycard’s results were also promising, presenting an 11.2 percent rise in consumer spending in restaurants and a 10.3 percent rise in spending in pubs.


Looking at the entire market for out-of-home eating, which includes quick service restaurants as well as retail take-away food and other food eaten off-premises, NPD recorded a growth in spending over 2016, reflected in the reported increase in visits to foodservice vendors over the first three quarters of the year. Figures from the Office for National Statistics also support this, with spending in restaurants based on current prices in the 3rd quarter of 2016 rising to over 20 million British pounds, while figures based on chained linked volume measured around 18.8 million.

Eating out in pubs appears to be an ongoing trend, as suggested by Green King’s most recent survey, which showed that in Britain pubs are more popular for eating in than restaurants, particularly among older generations. Openings of food-led licensed premises have typically been higher across all types of urban locations in recent years, compared to pubs and other drink-led sites that have experienced more closures. However, it is millennials who tend to keep up with dining out trends, recognising more of the latest casual dining brands and with a higher willingness to try out a wider range of places to eat.

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Restaurant and food service trends in the UK - Important statistics

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