That’s according to joint research from Altus Group and the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), which says the figure is an 8% increase on the 10,413 job losses in 2018.
But the overall number of restaurants shutting their doors fell from 1,188 in 2018 to 922 in 2019.
“The race for space pushed up rents impacting on rateable values which came into effect in 2017,” says Alex Probyn, president of UK expert services at Altus Group.
“Extra tax for business rates coupled with rising food prices and staff costs through increases in both the national and minimum wages created a lethal cocktail as margins were squeezed.”
In 2018 a total of 622 chain-operated restaurants closed, with Byron, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Prezzo and Carluccio’s among those shuttering sites under Company Voluntary Arrangements.
That figure fell by 46% to 337 in 2019. Despite the high-profile collapse of chains such as Jamie’s Italian last year, the CRR says the balance of closures came from independent operators.
“The main problems in 2020 are likely to be found amongst the independents, who often lack the resources to reinvest or change their business model,” says professor Joshua Bamfield, a director at the CRR.
Smaller operators whose sites have a rateable value of less than £51,000 will see a reduction in their business rates bills from 1 April 2020, with the government set to increase the retail discount from 33% to 50%.