According to data collated by small business insurance firm Simply Business between 2008 and 2010, restaurants, pubs and cafes now make up 31 per cent of high street businesses – an increase of 2 per cent on 2008 figures.
Unsurprisingly, London features the highest number of restaurants in the UK, accounting for 11 per cent of all high street businesses in the region, five per cent higher than the national average.
Cafes and coffee shops make up 12 per cent of the high street in Wales, the North East and South East compared to a national average of 11 per cent, while the ratio of pubs to other high street businesses was highest in Wales, accounting for 17 per cent of the market, two per cent higher than the national average.
In contrast, the number of independent clothes shops has fallen over the past two years, now accounting for just 5 per cent of high street business, a 1 per cent decline on 2008.
“The business climate has clearly been more favourable for some retail businesses than others and this has influenced the make-up of High Streets across the UK,” said Jason Stockwood, chief executive of Simply Business.
“While it’s great that food and drink businesses are doing well, it’s worrying to see that certain sectors such as fashion and newsagents are in the decline, with competition from big High Street brands a likely cause.”