Brands driving eating out market

Pubs, casual restaurants and fast food outlets outperform wider market

BRANDED restaurants are driving growth in the overall sector, according to a recent market report.

The Project Restaurant 2012 report, published by research consultancy Allegra in association with Barclays, found that branded restaurants now take a 21% share of the overall eating out market, with the sector expected to expand in the year ahead.
Allegra surveyed more than 18,000 consumers and 300 industry leaders for its study, revealing a positive outlook for the restaurant industry overall. Some 70% of consumers said they expect to dine out with the same frequency in the year ahead as the previous year.
Turnover is predicted to increase by 3.9%, with branded restaurants expected to see a 7.8% rise in turnover during 2013.
McDonald’s, Domino’s and KFC accounted for the largest growth in the branded fast food sector, with Pizza Express, Prezzo and Carluccio’s leading the casual dining sector and JD Wetherspoon performing well in the pub market.
“The strength of a brand should not be underestimated in the restaurant market,” said Anya Marco, director of insight at Allegra Strategies.
“With established marketing prowess, delivery of consistency and familiarity and the ability to capitalise on new outlet expansion opportunities, branded chains will continue to drive growth in the market.”
Turnover in the branded restaurant sector is expected to reach £12.5bn in 2013, and £14.5bn by 2015.
The pursuit of value remains key to branded operators, the report found, with 70% of the top chains participating in voucher schemes.
Over half of consumers said they regularly use discount vouchers when eating out, with 28% regularly visiting lower-priced restaurants to save money.
Economic uncertainty is said to have led 60% of consumers to spend cautiously when they dine out of the home.
“By focusing on innovative ways to deliver added value for money, branded restaurants can benefit from a greater share of consumer spend on experiences that cannot be easily replicated at home,” Marco said.

Image: The expansion of brands like Carluccio’s helped the sector grow by 6.5%.