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Chain Restaurants Continue to Show Growth

The 100 largest U.K. restaurant chains registered a 6.4 percent annual sales increase in 2013, compared to 7.1 percent the prior year. According to data released by Technomic Inc. in its annual reporting on the top U.K. restaurant chains, the number of units grew by more than 4 percent in 2013, compared to unit growth of 7 percent the previous year.

“Industry growth remains promising following a pattern of increased sales performance by the top 100 chains,” said Darren Tristano, Senior Managing Director of Technomic. “Their strong results can be attributed to a fast-casual segment that continues to shine, as well as popular U.S. foods like American-style barbecue and hot dogs appearing on U.K. menus, and pubs that are working to revamp and refresh their bars with new concepts to gain market share from traditional restaurants.”

Among limited-service restaurants, the menu categories with the greatest sales were burger (£2.3 billion), coffee shops (£1.9 billion) and Italian/pizza (£1.3 billion). The ranking was led, as usual, by U.S.-based McDonald’s, which generated more than £1.8 billion in sales in 2013, followed by Wetherspoon (£1.2 billion) and Costa Coffee (£937.5 million).

As a whole, limited-service restaurants saw a sales revenue bump of more than 6 percent. The patisserie subsegment experienced the fastest rate of sales and unit growth, with an increase in sales of nearly 18 percent from 2012 and a unit growth rate of 8 percent. Though only four patisserie chains are listed in the Top 100 U.K. chains, Patisserie Valerie and Muffin Break experienced significant sales increases of nearly 25 and 12 percent respectively.

Full-service restaurants experienced a healthy growth year in 2013 with an increase of 7 percent in sales. Casual-dining restaurants and pub chains showed increases in this segment with a 9 and 5 percent rise in sales respectively.

Wetherspoon, a traditional pub chain, is the second largest chain in sales revenue for 2013 behind McDonald’s. As the U.K.’s largest pub chain, Wetherspoon reported a 9 percent rise in sales to approximately £1.2 billion, as well as a 5 percent rise in unit count to 905. Following Wetherspoon, casual-dining PizzaExpress reported the next highest sales revenue in the full-service segment at £411 million in 2013.

The Top Ten U.K. Chain Restaurants

Ranked by sales in 2013 vs. 2012

Rank

Chain Name 2013 U.K. Sales (£MM) % Sales Change % Unit Change

1

McDonald’s

£1,810

1.0%

1.2%

2

Wetherspoon

1,217

9.0

4.6

3

Costa Coffee

938

18.4

11.2

4

Greggs

787

2.9

0.0

5

KFC

685

4.3

1.2

6

Domino’s Pizza

623

14.0

7.1

7

Starbucks

606

1.8

0.4

8

Pizza Hut

532

0.2

0.9

9

Subway

531

7.3

7.0

10

Nando’s

455

7.8

7.4

  Total

£8,182

6.1%

4.2%

*All U.K. Sales figures are Technomic estimates

In total, the top 10 restaurant chains accounted for almost £8.2 billion, over half (52.7 percent) of total sales for the Top 100 U.K. Chains.

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