UK eating out market set to top 2019 value this year but inflation outpaces growth

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UK eating out market set to top 2019 value this year but inflation outpaces growth

Related tags: UK eating out market, Lumina Intelligence

The UK eating out market is forecast to reach £95.2bn in value this year, according to data from the new Lumina Intelligence Eating Out Market Report 2022.

The figure reflects a 4% increase on its 2019 value, meaning that inflation is outpacing market growth.

Outlet growth is expected to be positive from 2022, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.5% from 2022 to 2025, up from the -0.5% between 2019 and 2022.  Low ticket channels including coffee shops, sandwich and bakery, and fast food are gaining outlet share of the market post pandemic.

Against 2019, retail, travel and leisure is set to be the best performing segment of the UK eating out market, growing at 9.1% against its 2019 value. In comparison, hotels, pubs and restaurants are set for growth of 2.8% versus 2019, and contract catering growth of 3.4%.

At a value of £68.7bn, hotels, pubs and restaurants is the largest segment of the UK eating out market, but is also set to see the slowest recovery, with continued outlet decline and dampened consumer confidence impacting footfall in the segment.

The top 10 UK eating out brands are set to be worth £15.2bn in 2022, with McDonald’s the biggest in the market. Brands including KFC, Greggs and Domino’s are expected to see turnover recovery from 2019, according to Lumina, upwards of 20%.

As a group, the top UK eating out brands command a market share of 15.9% - a decline of -1.3 percentage points versus 2019.

Consumers become more price-led

The proportion of consumers eating out was up 23% in the 12 weeks ended 15 May 2022, compared to last year when dine-in was limited to outdoor only, with visit frequency up 15% over the same period.

In terms of the impact of inflation on consumer spending habits, Lumina found there had been a two percentage point rise in consumers making price-led decisions, suggesting that operators across the market will need to emphasise value for money credentials through promotions, loyalty schemes and good quality products and services.

The lunch day-part has seen the biggest increase in share of occasions in the 12 weeks ended 15 May 2022, compared to the same period last year – up 3.3 percentage points , with that growth at the expense of dinner occasions, which have declined by -4.4 percentage points.

Commenting on the findings, Katie Prowse, senior insight manager at Lumina Intelligence, said: “Operators across the UK eating out market will be buoyed by the end of the pandemic and the impact of a year’s trading without restrictions. However, the reality will not live up to expectations, as operators face rising costs, staff shortages and squeezed household incomes.

“We are already seeing the impact of these in the data, with spend growth and penetration both slowing.”

Prowse added that despite the challenges, there will be opportunities, with the £5.7bn opportunity between 2022-25 showing 'the size of the prize for brands'.

“Delivery, premiumisation and digitisation all continue to be key trends shaping the future of eating and drinking out,” she said.

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s UK Eating Out Market Report 2022 here​.

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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