Half Of UK Consumers Fear Their Local High Street Is Being Overrun By Restaurant Chains

DiningNew research among more than 2,000 UK adults commissioned by GoKart has revealed the impact large restaurant and fast food chains are having on local independent businesses. It found:

  • 50% of UK adults – 25.88 million people – are concerned their local high street is being taken over by restaurant and fast food chains, driving out independent businesses
    • 37% of consumers have seen one or more of their favourite local independent restaurants shutting down in the past 12 months alone
    • 43% are concerned Brexit and the weakening pound will result in more restaurant closures and higher meal prices
  • As a result, 42% of people believe the UK Government should limit the number of national or multi-national chain restaurants opening on the UK’s high streets
  • Moreover, over half (53%) of Brits prefer to eat out at independent restaurants because they want to support local businesses
    • 63% stated that local independent restaurants offer greater varieties of cuisine or more creative dishes when compared to the more common food on offer by larger chains
    • However, 43% believe the greatest appeal of large restaurant chains are that they are cheaper and faster than independent establishments

Large restaurant and fast food chains are threatening the UK’s local, independent restaurants, with half of Brits concerned their local high street is being taken over by chains, new research by GoKart has revealed.

The London-based foodtech company commissioned an independent, nationally-representative survey among more than 2,000 UK adults to uncover people’s perceptions towards large food chains and local independent restaurants. It found that 50% of Brits fear local high street businesses are struggling to compete with national and multi-national restaurant and food chains.

As a result, over a third (37%) of consumers have seen one or more of their favourite local establishments close in the past 12 months alone. Moreover, 43% are concerned this trend is set to continue, with fears that Brexit and the weakening pound will result in more restaurant closures and higher meal prices. These findings coincide with a report from the Government’s Insolvency Service, which found that 984 restaurants fell into administration in 2017 – a 20% increase on the previous year’s figures.

With 53% of the country preferring to eat out at independent restaurants in order to support local businesses, there are calls for the number of fast food and restaurant chains to be capped – 42% of Brits think the Government should introduce limits on the number of national or multi-national chain restaurants operating on the UK’s high streets.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed the overwhelmingly positive sentiment the public holds towards their local establishments: 63% of Brits believe independent restaurants offer greater varieties of cuisine or more creative dishes over the common foods provided by larger chains. Furthermore, nearly seven in ten (69%) UK adults stated that the freshness and quality of ingredients is the most important thing they look for when choosing a restaurant.

Anx Patel, CEO and founder of GoKart, commented on the findings: “Local independent restaurants have been struggling to compete with big chains, and today’s research demonstrates the challenges facing those high-street establishments when competing against their larger competitors.

“However, it is positive to see that over half of UK adults are willing to support their local restaurants, drawn by the diverse offering of different cuisines and foods, not to mention the freshness and high-quality of ingredients that are commonly used.

“In light of the challenges currently facing the restaurant industry, local high street restaurants need to be clever in the way they operate, ensuring they are cost-efficient without sacrificing on the quality of food they deliver. This can range from optimising their inventories to reducing unnecessary food waste and sourcing fresh local ingredients at the best available prices.”

 

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