Steady upturn in past five years set to continue, with a trend towards smaller sites
By 2011, the UK's restaurant sector will be worth £5.52bn, according to Market & Business Development's (MBD) UK Restaurants Market Research Report. Growth will only be moderate because of uncertain economic conditions and recent interest rate rises, which affect disposable income.
Restaurants will also face greater competition from pubs serving food, once the smoking ban has been introduced on July 1, said researchers, who added that this would be partly offset by demographic trends towards an older population with higher disposable income.
Furthermore, the report found that the UK restaurant market increased from 2002 to 2006, apart from a one per cent decline in 2002, when 9/11 prompted a drop in tourism. In 2006, a two per cent growth valued the market at £5.107bn.
From 2007 to 2011, MBD said it expects to see greater consolidation, a trend towards smaller restaurants, due in part to a lack of available sites, and a growth in the number of chain restaurants in the mid-market sector expanding into smaller cities.