According to the latest data from the Lumina Intelligence Operator Data Index, the top 10 UK casual dining brands are forecast to grow its combined outlet count by +1.1% to 5,566.
This growth is set to be driven by Pret A Manger (+7.5%), Nando’s (+4.0%) and KFC (+2.1%). In contrast, Pizza Hut Restaurants, Sizzling Pubs and Burger King are all expected to reduce the size of their estates. The growth forecast for Pret follows an ambitious expansion strategy that will target consumers in suburban locations that are working from home.
This estimated growth, is +0.1ppts higher than the outlet growth forecast for the entire casual dining segment, which will not see it fully recover to pre-pandemic outlet volumes.
In terms of fastest growing brands, by outlets, within the casual dining segment, Megan’s is set to see outlet growth of +4 sites or +28.6%, Sports Bar & Grill +3 outlets or +25.0% and Pizza Pilgrims +4 outlets or +23.5%. German Doner Kebab is forecast to add the largest net number of sites (+11). The brand has achieved rapid UK expansion through franchise and a focus on delivery and takeaway trading.
Branded restaurants are expected to grow (+1.2%) for the first time in five years, following decline from 2018 to 2021. Rosa’s Thai and Pizza Pilgrims are expected to lead outlet growth in 2022, following strong delivery trading throughout the pandemic.
Pub and bar restaurant brands are expected to grow minimally at +0.3% in 2022 after consistent decline in outlets from 2018. Sports Bar & Grill, Brewdog and The Lounges lead growth at +25.0%, +11.4, and +9.5% respectively.
Traditional fast food is expected to increase by +0.8% in 2022, following consistent growth for the past five years. This segment was less vulnerable over the course of the pandemic due to brands being able to leverage trading through delivery.
Commenting on the findings, Senior Insight Manager at Lumina Intelligence, Katherine Prowse, said: “Casual dining is well placed to recover from the impact of the pandemic. This is apparent in the forecasted outlet expansion. More successful brands have been agile throughout the pandemic, closing poorly performing sites and re-evaluating location and product strategies, as well as pivoting to delivery. This puts them in a strong position post-pandemic.”
Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s Operator Data Index here.