UK Eating Out Market To Grow +33.4% To £63.6bn In 2021, Ahead Of A Full Market Recovery In 2022

According to the new Lumina Intelligence UK Eating Out Market Report 2021, the UK eating out market is expected to grow +33.4% in 2021, to £63.6bn. The report further predicts that the market will make a full recovery and exceed its pre-pandemic value by the end of 2022, when it is set to be worth £91.9bn.

The total eating out market declined by -47.8% to just £47.7bn in 2020, with just 11.3 weeks of normal trading. Market recovery in 2021 has been stunted with closures at the beginning of the year for predominantly dine-in channels, with an expected 25 weeks of restriction-free trading.

The retail, travel & leisure sub-segment of the total eating out market is expected to have the quickest turnover recover (+41.1% to £16.0bn), with on-the-go and relatively low-ticket channels well placed for takeaway operations and recessionary trading.

Hotels, pubs and restaurants is the largest sub-segment of the total eating out market by value and by outlets. This sub-segment is expected to recover to two thirds of its 2019 value in 2021 (+32.1% to £44.8bn), with prolonged restrictions on indoor dining and travel limiting further recovery in 2021.

Top 10 grow market share

The top 10 eating out companies by turnover have increased their combined market share from 2019-2021F by +0.3ppts to 17.4% with a total value of £11.1bn. Larger businesses can leverage the scale of their estates and resources to maintain high brand awareness and affinity.

Greggs was the only brand in the top 10 to grow share of outlets, achieving an average of +64 net new site openings per year across the 2019-2021F period. Greggs has performed strongly with trend-led NPD and innovations including its digital loyalty scheme.

Two thirds miss eating out at restaurants

Eating out at a restaurant has been the second most missed activity of the last 12 months, second only to meeting others and closely followed by holidays. The top three missed activities are:

  1. Meeting others – 69%
  2. Eating at a restaurant – 67%
  3. Holidays – 66%

A record number of tables were booked on The Fork (formerly Bookatable) for 19th May (reopening of indoor hospitality) – 12% more than on any date since July 2020 and with a staycation boom expected in summer 2021, eating out venues in popular holidaymaker areas are expected to reap the benefits

Managed, branded & franchised pubs and fast food to drive future market growth

The total eating out market is set to grow by +1.2% from 2022F-2024F, an improvement from the +0.9% growth seen from 2017-2019.

Managed, branded and franchised pubs, as well as traditional fast food outlets, are set to lead absolute value growth in the market during this period, with pubs driving sales through refurbishments and premiumisation and fast food growing through new space, tech-led innovation and further delivery capacity.

Commenting on the results, Blonnie Whist, Insight Director at Lumina Intelligence said, “With all restrictions on the hospitality sector set to end in June, attention now turns to market recovery. In the interim, we will see slight polarisation between channels, with on-the-go and relatively low-ticket solutions well placed to continue to capitalise on demand for takeaway, as well as combat any recessionary trading.”

“Hotels, pubs and restaurants are set for a slower recovery, as prolonged restrictions on indoor dining and limited travel hamper 2021 trading. However, between 2022-24 there is a £3.1bn growth prize for operators to target. Managed, branded and franchised pubs are set to be the biggest beneficiaries of this, with growth of £663m expected.”