Report Reveals Fewer Independent Restaurants Opening In London

The number of independent restaurants opening in the capital has fallen during the last 12 months, according to the latest Harden’s Restaurant Guide.

The number of new spinoff restaurants in London increased during the same period to 53 from 25, while the number of new, non-chain restaurants fell to 193 from 200.

The amount of restaurants which closed during the same period rose 8% from 76 to 84, the guide’s third highest rate of closures on record.

The net opening total was 109- down 12% on the 2016 report.

The number of restaurants which were classed as once-independent, and are now expanding their business and becoming chains, more than doubled in the same period from 25 to 53.

Co-founder Peter Harden said: “While there are many more restaurant tables in London than even a year ago, continuing a pattern of growth that has been there for many years, the traffic lights that had been green have turned to amber,”

Adding :“You only have to look to The Ivy, to see a restaurant that was once a stand-alone icon, now being ‘rolled out’ at a rate that would do McDonalds proud.

“The old cliché that “independent = good, chain = bad” is being challenged at an incredible rate with the duplication in the last year of concepts rated very highly in the Harden’s survey, such as Dinings, The Frog, Hoppers, James Cochran, Smoking Goat, and temper, all turning this traditional presumption on its head.”

The guide’s restaurant rankings, based on reviews by members of the public, has not chaged much, The Ledbury in Notting Hill, leads for gastronomic experience, and the Ivy Chelsea Garden enters the Top 10 for breakfast/brunch at third, behind the Wolseley and the Delaunay.