The UK Eating Out Market Report shows the sector is set to grow 1.5% in 2018, down from 1.7% in 2017, to a value of £89.4bn.
Steve Gotham, director of insight at MCA, says the slowdown is due to people choosing to eat out less often and a fall in discretionary spending caused by limited wage growth.
Restaurants account for £32.4bn of the eating out sector in 2018, with the number of outlets rising 0.2% in the past year.
But MCA says 14 out of the 25 leading branded restaurant groups are expected to remain static or close sites in 2018, compared to eight in 2017.
However, the overall eating and drinking out market is still predicted to grow by £5bn over the next three years to reach £94.4bn.
“It isn’t all doom and gloom for the eating out sector,” says Gotham.
“With a modestly recovering growth outlook and £5bn of additional spend up for grabs over the next three years, there is a substantial prize to be fought over. Better-managed, consumer-centric operators that stand out in this crowded market will be best placed to benefit.”
For more information and to find out how you can access the MCA UK Eating Out Market Report 2018, click here.