Restaurants outnumber pubs for first time

For the first time ever, there are now more licensed restaurants than drink-led pubs in Britain, according to new research.
Over the past 12 months, 1,770 new licensed restaurants have opened meaning there are now 27,500 across the country compared to 26,700 local pubs. The 6.9 per cent annual rise in new restaurants is in contrast to the 5.1 per cent dip in community pubs, while there was also a 4.4 per cent fall in the past year in the number of drink-led pubs and bars.
In total, there are 53,000 pubs and bars across Britain, which marks a decrease of 2.6 per cent over the past 12 months, although the number of food-led pubs has risen by 1.1 per cent in the timeframe.
The Market Growth Monitor from AlixPartners and CGA Peach also found that there was a nine per cent rise in the number of branded food pubs, while many cities have seen an increase in licensed establishments, with the biggest rises happening in Leicester (plus 8.5 per cent), Bristol (plus 6.5 per cent), Birmingham (plus 5.9 per cent), Leeds (plus 5.8 per cent) and Glasgow (plus 5.2 per cent).
There was also strong growth in the likes of Newcastle, Cardiff, York, Liverpool and Sheffield, while there was a 3.7 per cent rise in Manchester and 3.3 per cent increase in London.
Looking at the stats, Paul Hemming, Managing Director of AlixPartners, said that restaurant growth is now “genuinely a UK-wide story”.
He said: “The reality of today’s eating-out market is that, beyond the M25, there are more expansion opportunities for the leading branded operators, as shown by the presence of cities such as Leicester, York and Sheffield in the top ten growth towns.
“The proliferation of branded eating-out concepts to relatively new destinations, and its obvious implications for the independent operator cohort, is a picture that chimes with what we hear in the marketplace anecdotally, through the businesses with which we work. It is clear that the desire for quality food and bar offerings has spread across the country.”
By Owen Mckeon
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