Record rise in cost of dinner out in London

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Record rise in cost of dinner out in London

Related tags: Price, Restaurant, London

The average price of dinner for one in London has risen 6.3% in the past year, according to data from restaurant guide Harden’s.

The cost has increased from £55.76 to £59.28 over the last 12 months.

That’s according to Harden’s survey of 1,700 restaurants, pubs and cafes in the capital for the 2020 edition of its guide, which was first published in 1991.

This is the largest increase seen over the last 20 years except for 2011-12, when it was affected by a change in the VAT rate.

The figure is well above the general annual inflation rate of 2.1% for the year to July 2019.

Harden’s notes that for the past three years London restaurant prices have run significantly higher than inflation, but that this is to be expected alongside rising food and wage costs.

The 2020 guide recorded 174 new openings, up from 167 the previous year.

But closures remain at the ‘near-record’ level of 110. This is close to last year’s 117, the highest number ever recorded​ in the guide’s 29 year history.

Net openings were 64, up by 28% on the previous year.

Central London saw 82 new sites open, the highest number of any area overall.

This was followed by 27 launches in East London, 26 in South London, 25 in West London and just 14 in North London.

“Any book on entrepreneurialism will tell you that just to stand still it is necessary for any business constantly to reinvent itself,” says Harden’s co-founder Peter Harden.

“That is ever-more the case in the London restaurant scene where any site that is not performing at its peak, will quickly be reformatted under the same brand or a new one.

“The good news is that London’s restaurateurs are a much more formidable bunch than when this guide was first published. The last three decades have seen an incredible rise in the professionalism of the trade.

"Opportunities continue to present themselves to those with witty new formats or sufficient passion to excel at the old ones.”

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