Chains eat in to independent turf

Increase in brands offering international cuisine

• The team behind Chaophraya is expected to introduce a new brand in 2014.
• The team behind Chaophraya is expected to introduce a new brand in 2014.

BRANDED restaurant groups are beginning to “colonise” areas of the market previously dominated by independents, according to a new report.

The new ‘Ones To Watch’ report from business consultancy Horizons reveals a growth in the number of operators developing Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Caribbean and Mediterranean restaurant chains.
The biannual report, which is compiled for investors, suppliers and operators, lists groups with between five and 25 outlets which have shown growth of at least 20% over the past three years.
This year’s report is said to contain a record number of new restaurant concepts, with the emergence of 105 UK brands with between five and 25 outlets.
The list includes Thai restaurant chain Chaophraya, with an estate of six restaurants including venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Chaophraya, which also has outlets in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, is also said to be preparing to launch a new brand called Thai Pad in early 2014.
Nicola Knight, author of the report, said fledgling restaurant brands serving international cuisines are “taking their cues” from successful street food vendors.
“They are offering freshly cooked, authentic cuisines in an affordable, casual dining setting,” said Knight.
“If they have the financial controls in place and find suitable sites they are on target for a successful rollout and could be our high street brands of the future.
“While some of these fledgling brands may not survive many more will go on to expand and become recognised names on the high street.
“The ‘Ones To Watch’ service demonstrates that the eating out market is still a dynamic one in terms of new openings, new concepts and plans for expansion.”