Restaurant Industry Statistics in the UK - Must-Know Numbers for 2021 (2022)

One of the things that make the restaurant industry so exciting is its constantly changing and evolving nature. The arrival of Covid-19 in 2020 ensured that change was in no short supply for the past year. That shifting pace continues to shape the structure of the industry today.

In the UK (as well as the rest of the world), the restaurant and hospitality sectors have taken some serious knocks, affecting everything from food supply to employment.

Every business owner knows how important it is to keep up with the times. But the sheer level of chaos that has ensued between 2020 and 2021 has left many UK restaurateurs feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

One of the ways to combat these frustrations is to take advantage of the data available on current restaurant and consumer behaviours, shedding light on where the nation is at and how to best adapt into this otherwise perplexing post-pandemic landscape.

Jump To a Section Below

  • Using Data to Uphold the UK Restaurant Industry
  • General UK Restaurant Industry Statistics
  • UK Restaurant Economy Statistics
  • UK Restaurant Technology Statistics
  • Online Marketing Statistics for UK Restaurants
  • UK Restaurant Trends and Expectation Statistics for 2021 and Beyond
  • The Future of the UK Restaurant Industry
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Using Data to Uphold the UK Restaurant Industry

Statistics and data are a powerful resource for any industry in today’s age, helping provide substance to suspicions and clarity to confusion. Without this information, compiling a solid and appropriate plan of action for maintaining healthy profits and consumer engagement becomes much more strenuous, and unnecessarily so.

We live in the information age, and thoroughly researched data is readily available and accessible via the internet and articles such as this one.

With analytics tools to help track and follow patterns of data pertaining to just about every aspect of your restaurant, struggling to keep up with the times becomes a much more manageable affair.

Throughout this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most notable statistics on the UK restaurant industry in 2021 and peer forward into what we can expect from future years.

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General UK Restaurant Industry Statistics

How are restaurants holding up during this complicated historical time? These general restaurant industry statistics look at the key takeaway points of interest which have occurred between 2020 and 2021 in the UK.

  • Over the course of the pandemic, the restaurant and hospitality industry adapted well to the changing rules, as the proportion of temporarily closing businesses plummeted from 81% in the 2020 lockdown to just 54% in the 2021 lockdown.
  • There are 42,070 full-service operating restaurants within the UK.
  • The food and drink industry within the UK provides formal employment for 487,848 individuals.
  • Low business confidence is expected, with 27% of multi-site restaurant owners fearing their business will be “unviable” by mid-2021.
  • The economic turnover in 2020 was £1.2 billion, compared to the much larger £6.9 billion from May 2021 (highest it has been since August 2020).
  • The restaurant industry turnover of 2021 (so far) is still 25% lower than that of 2019.
  • The turnover in May 2021 is five and a half times higher than it was in May 2020.
  • Restaurant bookings in May 2021 (just after restrictions lifted) soared up to 32% higher than the pre-pandemic May 2019.

UK Restaurant Economy Statistics

The economic status of the UK has been dramatically influenced by Covid-19 and the nation is still reeling from lost profits. However, the government implemented schemes like Eat Out to Help Out, which proved stimulating to the industry’s economy.

  • After the lockdown softened in July 2020, UK restaurants were much slower to recover than pubs, with 36% vs. 94% reopening respectively.
  • The trading conditions of total restaurant sales in the UK dropped by 64.9% in 2020.
  • The Bank of England claims that UK households potentially saved £100 billion in consumer costs over the course of the pandemic, implying there could be a massive surge of interest in restaurant activities once all restrictions are lifted.
  • The UK government’s Eat Out to Help Out plan successfully brought pubs, bars, and restaurant groups back to their 2019 levels.
  • Prior to the pandemic outbreak, January 2020 promised a fruitful year as the profit level of restaurants and bars was 4.7% higher than in January 2019.
  • The full closure of restaurants and bars in November 2020 saw profits plummet by 43.7% as compared to November 2019.
  • Due to volatile trading during 2020, data on UK restaurants and bars between April and July of 2020 is not available to the public.
  • In 2021, the UK restaurant sector is expected to rise by 32.1%, or£11.7 billion, respectively.

UK Restaurant Technology Statistics

Restaurant Industry Statistics in the UK - Must-Know Numbers for 2021 (1)

In addition to the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, the technology industry is also evolving at a rapid pace. Restaurants may revolve around good quality food and service, but technology also plays a significant role in the food and hospitality industries – via payment methods, websites, QR codes, menus, mobile-app delivery services and even simple robots.

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  • During 2020, the use of QR (Quick Response) codes became far more filtered into the mainstream restaurant market. Presently, over 84% of UK citizens have used a QR code to pay for a meal, establishing their presence as a staple in restaurant payment options.
  • In 2020, as much as 48% of UK citizens are willing to exchange their data for more personalised services and options within the restaurant industry.
  • Contactless payments made up 27% of the total payments made within the UK during 2020, the demand for cashless or contactless payments continues to grow.
  • During 2020, the number of cash payments made fell by 35% overall.
  • 40% of restaurant consumers report that they are comfortable dining out regardless of contactless payment options, but 56% of restaurant consumers say that such options are of importance to them.
  • Almost two thirds of UK consumers say that they would rather dine out at restaurants with contactless or QR code payment options than those without.
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Online Marketing Statistics for UK Restaurants

It’s 2021, and online marketing has never been more important to businesses that rely on consumer engagement. Restaurants in the UK are no different, and gaining knowledge about how to go about strategising a solid online marketing plan is integral to success.

  • Food and drink make up the bulk of what is posted on social media, being mentioned one third of the time across all platforms.
  • Every nine days, there is more content uploaded to YouTube than the BBC has produced in the entirety of its television history.
  • In 2018, the hashtag #food was posted to Instagram 260,819,245 times, and the hashtag #foodporn was posted 150,819,245 times.
  • Up to 90% of consumers in the UK will research a restaurant before visiting – more than any other business type does.
  • The global online food and restaurant industry cropped up £25 851 060 000,00 in profits during 2020, emphasising the importance of functional and user-friendly online delivery options.

UK Restaurant Trends and Expectation Statistics for 2021 and Beyond

Restaurant Industry Statistics in the UK - Must-Know Numbers for 2021 (2)

If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that the future cannot be predicted. But despite a rocky economic season, the UK restaurant industry’s future is not all doom and gloom.

With delivery services keeping businesses afloat and creative dining approaches becoming more popularised, there are plenty of new and exciting trends expected to take place over the next few years that the food and drink industry can look forward to accommodating.

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  • In 2021 and 2022, the gradual but steady easing of lockdown restrictions is expected to boost revenue within the UK restaurant industry.
  • Plant-based food chains have continued to perform well in the UK, and are likely to remain in demand for the upcoming future.
  • At-home fine dining (DIY meal kits, picnic-style baskets etc.) is likely to be a common feature, where consumers can order food to be brought home and prepared by the consumers themselves.
  • Functional, attractive, and mobile-friendly websites will become the biggest ambassadors for restaurants and other business types
  • Outdoor dining is also likely to attract customers, as there is less concern around viral infections being shared in confined indoor spaces.
  • Experts say that consumer desires to spend should see an uptick as Covid-19 fades, and most of their money will go towards the hospitality industry.
  • In 2021 and beyond, locally-sourced produce is going to be of more significance than before due to disrupted mega supply chains and a general desire from the community to keep things local.
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The Future of the UK Restaurant Industry

While nobody can say for certain what the future will hold, what we do know is that it will come with both new challenges and new rewards. So far, 2021 has been a year of major adjustment, and we can expect this period of change and flexibility to continue for the next few years.

However, despite the many changes and challenges that the UK restaurant and hospitality industry do face, many experts maintain a positive outlook for the future of consumer-business relationships and believe that the economy will repair over time.

Technology, contactless payments, high-engagement websites and social media presences, superior delivery services and of course, high quality products are expected to spearhead the future of the food and drink industry—not just within the UK, but for the world as a whole.

FAQs

How many restaurants are there in the UK in 2021? ›

There are 35,129 full-service operating restaurants within the UK in 2022, down from 42,070 in 2021.

How big is the restaurant industry in the UK? ›

Full-Service Restaurants in the UK - Market Size 2011–2029
$19.5bnFull-Service Restaurants in the UK Market Size in 2022
66.2%Full-Service Restaurants in the UK Market Size Growth in 2022
-3%Full-Service Restaurants in the UK Annualized Market Size Growth 2017–2022
1 more row

How many fast food restaurants are in the UK in 2022? ›

Takeaway & Fast-Food Restaurants in the UK - Market Size 2011–2029
YearValue
Feb 1, 201921,798.6
Feb 1, 202021,792
Feb 1, 202119,621.3
Feb 1, 202221,365.9
12 more rows

How many people work in the restaurant industry in the UK? ›

Over one million people were employed in the restaurant and mobile food service industry in the UK in 2019.

How much is the restaurant industry worth UK? ›

The report indicates that the UK restaurant market grew 25.9% or £2.3bn in 2021 to a total value of £11.2bn.

How big is the restaurant industry? ›

Chain Restaurants in the US - Market Size 2003–2028
$50.9bnChain Restaurants in the US Market Size in 2022
13.5%Chain Restaurants in the US Market Size Growth in 2022
1.4%Chain Restaurants in the US Annualized Market Size Growth 2017–2022
1 more row

What percentage of restaurants fail UK? ›

In a study of over 150,000 UK business failures, it was found revealed that 15.5% of businesses in the UK hospitality and catering sector fail every year, compared to just 5.25% for the economy as a whole.

How many restaurants are there in the UK in 2020? ›

After a decline in 2009, the number of restaurants in the United Kingdom has been steadily increasing. There were 92,526 businesses operating in the restaurant and mobile food service industry in the UK in 2020, an increase over the previous year's total of 89,133.

How many restaurants are in UK? ›

We said
5 Digit SIC and DescriptionCount of Businesses
56101 : Licensed restaurants28,705
56102 : Unlicensed restaurants and cafes22,970
56103 : Take-away food shops and mobile food stands37,465
56302 : Public houses and bars30,885
2 more rows
28 Jan 2020

What is the most popular fast food restaurant in the UK 2022? ›

According to a 2022 survey of restaurant brands in the United Kingdom, Greggs had the highest rating among the British public, with 74 percent having a positive opinion of the brand. Pizza Express, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Costa Coffee were also rated among the top five brands.

What is the growth rate of a restaurant? ›

Restaurant sales are expected to increase this year

Total sales were $799 billion in 2021—up 18% from 2020. And the $898 billion the association expects this year is a further improvement, even if it isn't quite to the $918 billion the association expected in 2020 before the pandemic.

What are the four major sectors in the food industry? ›

Major sectors constituting the food processing industry in India are grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages, and dairy products.

What percentage of restaurant sales are cash UK? ›

The 2018 G4S World Cash Report found that, in Europe, the use of cash in physical point-of-sale transactions has risen from 60% to 79%.

How many people are employed in the restaurant industry? ›

Restaurant Employment Statistics

There are 15.1 million restaurant industry employees in the United States. 1.6 million new restaurant jobs will be created by 2028. The restaurant workforce makes up 10% of the overall U.S. workforce.

How much money do restaurants make UK? ›

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK saw 39,230 restaurants and mobile food service enterprises operate in 2020, with a turnover of £100,000 to £249,999 that year alone. A total of 2,010 businesses generated between £1m and £2m in revenue, and 60 enterprises accounted for more than £50m in revenue.

How often do people eat out in UK? ›

The study showed that on average Brits eat out 1.5 times a week, spending up to £53 ($83) per meal.

How is the restaurant industry doing in 2022? ›

Sales for the overall foodservice industry will reach $898 billion in 2022. Considering each segment, full-service restaurants should reach $289 billion in sales for 2022, a 10.9% increase from 2021. The limited-service segment is forecast to reach $355 billion in 2022, resulting in a 7.9% increase from 2021.

What are five segments of the restaurant industry? ›

There are five restaurant segments in the foodservice industry: Family dining full-service, Casual dining full-service, Fine dining full-service, Quick-service(fast foods), and Quick-casual.

How is the restaurant industry growing? ›

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) forecasts that restaurant industry sales will reach 898 billion dollars in 2022, growing by 12.4% from 2021. A projected increase in sales can be attributed to a recovering economy, lower unemployment rates, rising consumer confidence, and population growth.

What is the success rate of a restaurant? ›

The National Restaurant Association estimates a 20% success rate for all restaurants. About 60% of restaurants fail in their first year of operation, and 80% fail within 5 years of opening.

What is the main reason restaurants fail? ›

1. Lack of vision. According to the Cornell University study “Why Restaurants Fail,” restaurants close because their leadership lacks a clear vision for the restaurant. A restaurant's mission statement and vision and are more than just its concept and menu—they should be at the center of every business decision.

How many restaurants fail in their first year UK? ›

In the UK, according to research by Fundsquire, a global start up funding network, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year. Around 60% of small businesses fail within the first three years.

What are 3 current food trends? ›

Plant-based 'meats' will continue to increase in popularity.

Meat alternatives are nothing new. Beyond Meat burgers and Impossible Burgers and such have been on home grills and menus for several years now. Major fast-food chains are trying out vegan nuggets. Pizza chains are trying out plant-based pepperoni.

What foods are trending in 2021? ›

Top 10 Trending Foods in 2021, from Google's Year in Search
  • Birria tacos. Birria is a dish from the Mexican state of Jalisco. ...
  • Nasi goreng. ...
  • Feta pasta (aka TikTok pasta) ...
  • Charcuterie board. ...
  • Shogayaki. ...
  • Potato soup. ...
  • Teriyaki amberjack. ...
  • Tonjiru.
20 Dec 2021

What are the latest trends in the food industry? ›

Top 7 Food Industry Trends For 2021
  1. Transparency Triumphs. To meet consumer demand, it will be more important than ever for brands to up their transparency game. ...
  2. Plant-forward Focus. ...
  3. Consuming On-Demand. ...
  4. In-Tune With Immune. ...
  5. Science & Nutrition. ...
  6. Product Mash-ups. ...
  7. Modern Nostalgia.

How many pubs bars and restaurants in the UK? ›

There were approximately 46,800 pubs operating in the United Kingdom in 2020. This represented a decrease of approximately 8,600 pubs in the last ten years, and a decline of over 14,000 pubs since 2000.

How many pubs and restaurants are in the UK? ›

Of these businesses, 93% of the workforcce had been furloughed. In 2019, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), there were 47,200 public houses in the UK. 23,400 of these pubs were independent, 13,900 are owned by Pub Companies, and 9,900 were owned by breweries.

How many pubs are there in the UK 2022? ›

There are fewer pubs in England and Wales than ever before, according to analysis that sheds light on the ruinous impact of the pandemic and soaring business costs. The total number of pubs dropped below 40,000 during the first half of 2022, a fall of more than 7,000 since a decade ago.

How many cafes are in the UK? ›

There are 7,427 Cafes & Coffee Shops businesses in the UK as of 2022, an increase of 0.5% from 2021.

How many takeaway restaurants are there in the UK? ›

As of 2019, there were over 40 thousand takeaway food stores and mobile food stands in the United Kingdom. The number of outlets grew in over the five years from 2015 to 2019.

How many restaurants in the UK have Michelin stars? ›

In the 2021 Guide for Great Britain and Ireland, there are 7 three Michelin-star restaurants, 20 two Michelin-star restaurants and 157 one Michelin-star restaurants.

What is the most popular fast food 2022? ›

Restaurants 25 2022 Ranking
20222021Name
11Starbucks
22McDonald's
33KFC
45Domino's Pizza
21 more rows

What fast food makes the most money UK? ›

KFC Outlets: 847 (2017) Revenue: (GBP£): 791 million

Brands' largest foodservice brand in the UK market, ahead of both Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

Which chain has the most restaurants in the UK? ›

Co-op Food has the most number of locations with 3,951 locations across 6 Countries. Subway has 2,320 and Greggs has 2,229 locations in the UK. These three together make 67.06% of the largest 10 food chains in the United Kingdom.

What is the average revenue of a restaurant? ›

The State of Local Restaurants 2020 report from Womply says that US restaurants brought in $1,350 in revenue on an average day, which is almost $40,500 monthly. And the 2019 Restaurant Success Report said that the average revenue for a restaurant less than 1-year-old is usually around $111,860.70 per month.

What percentage of GDP is restaurants? ›

Restaurants account for 4% of the overall GDP in the United States, a larger percentage than the automobile industry at 3% and the fashion industry at 2%.

Is a restaurant a growth industry? ›

In the U.S., the industry has grown at a 2.1% CAGR over the last 20 years (accounting for inflation). Some segments, including retail stores and vending, drinking places, and limited-service restaurants, are growing at least 20% faster than average each year.

How many restaurants are there in UK? ›

How many restaurants are there in the UK? According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 123,395 restaurants in the UK in 2019, which includes licenced and unlicenced restaurants, takeaways, mobile food stands, pubs, bars and bakeries - that's roughly 1 food outlet for every 454 UK adults.

How many restaurants are there in the UK 2020? ›

There were 92,526 businesses operating in the restaurant and mobile food service industry in the UK in 2020, an increase over the previous year's total of 89,133.

How many pubs and restaurants are in the UK? ›

Of these businesses, 93% of the workforcce had been furloughed. In 2019, according to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), there were 47,200 public houses in the UK. 23,400 of these pubs were independent, 13,900 are owned by Pub Companies, and 9,900 were owned by breweries.

How many food businesses are there in the UK? ›

The UK's 11,675 food and drink manufacturing businesses are committed to investing, with total business investment in the industry equalling £4bn, up by 7.9% from 2020.

What percentage of restaurant sales are cash UK? ›

The 2018 G4S World Cash Report found that, in Europe, the use of cash in physical point-of-sale transactions has risen from 60% to 79%.

How much do restaurants make UK? ›

According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK saw 39,230 restaurants and mobile food service enterprises operate in 2020, with a turnover of £100,000 to £249,999 that year alone. A total of 2,010 businesses generated between £1m and £2m in revenue, and 60 enterprises accounted for more than £50m in revenue.

What is the most popular fast food restaurant in the UK 2022? ›

According to a 2022 survey of restaurant brands in the United Kingdom, Greggs had the highest rating among the British public, with 74 percent having a positive opinion of the brand. Pizza Express, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Costa Coffee were also rated among the top five brands.

How often do people eat out in UK? ›

The study showed that on average Brits eat out 1.5 times a week, spending up to £53 ($83) per meal.

How many pubs are there in the UK 2022? ›

There are fewer pubs in England and Wales than ever before, according to analysis that sheds light on the ruinous impact of the pandemic and soaring business costs. The total number of pubs dropped below 40,000 during the first half of 2022, a fall of more than 7,000 since a decade ago.

What's the most popular pub name in UK? ›

The Red Lion is the most popular pub name across the UK, followed by the Royal Oak and the Crown Inn according to the Good Beer Guide 2020, CAMRA's premier publication featuring the very best pubs to find a great pint in the UK, to be published on 12 September.

How many takeaway restaurants are there in the UK? ›

As of 2019, there were over 40 thousand takeaway food stores and mobile food stands in the United Kingdom. The number of outlets grew in over the five years from 2015 to 2019.

How much profit does a pub make UK? ›

Profit levels will vary considerably from pub to pub. A community wet led pub with a turnover of £8,000 per week might enjoy a gross profit of £4,000, and total operating costs of £3,000. A town centre pub/bar on the other hand might have a £10,000 weekly turnover, gross profits of £5,000 and operating costs of £3,000.

What are the four major sectors in the food industry? ›

Major sectors constituting the food processing industry in India are grains, sugar, edible oils, beverages, and dairy products.

Who is the largest food manufacturer in the UK? ›

The largest food & beverage company in the UK is Associated British Foods, owner of Kingsmill among a host of other household brands, with an annual turnover of £3.3 billion.

What is the largest sector in the UK economy? ›

Economic output by industry

The UK's economy is dominated by services industries. These include retail, hospitality, professional services, business administration and finance. In 2021, services industries contributed £1.7 trillion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, 80% of total UK GVA.

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