The UK eating out market is expected to be worth a total of £79.7b by the end of 2013, with sales for the year expected to rise by 1.8%.
That's according to Allegra Strategies, which is set to launch its 2013 Eating Out in the UK report on Monday.
And Allegra predicted further positive growth over the next five years, adding over £10b in value to reach £90bn by 2018.
The report surveys over 2,000 UK consumers on their eating out habits, and interviews over 150 CEOs and other senior executives of major industry players.
"There will be a positive growth of 2.4% CAGR over the next five years. This will be driven by physical expansion, improved consumer confidence with higher anticipated average earnings growth combined with lower inflation rates leading to trading up," Anya Marco, Allegra's Director of Insight said.
The UK foodservice and hospitality market is estimated to be 326,145 outlets strong, with 1.8% sales growth and 0.9% expansion growth predicted for 2013, outperforming the UK High Street retail sales, with a growth forecast of only 0.3%.
Coffee shops, sandwich chains, and the branded restaurant sector (including branded fast food, branded pubs and casual dining restaurants) are leading that growth.
Meanwhile, eating out has become the "new normal" with 19m UK adults visiting eating out establishments at least once a week; this has risen from 17m since 2012. However, there has been a slight decline in the frequency of visits on a monthly basis where 2012 results showed that 1 in 8 meals were eaten out, compared to 2013 where 1 in 8.5 meals are eaten out.
Volatile weather conditions at the start of 2013 have also impacted visit frequency. Lunch is consumed on average 4.2 times per month out of home, declining by 6.6% on last year. Average monthly dinner out of home declined to 2.5 meals per month in 2013 compared with 2.7 in 2012. But out of home breakfast, which increased slightly in the first half of 2013 compared with 2012, to 1.8 meals per month per person, from 1.7.
Average spend on breakfast has increased to £4.77, from £4.66 in 2012. Lunch spend has increased to £7.39 in 2013, compared with £7.22 in 2012. However, average spend at dinner declined to £17.89 per person, from £18.11 in 2012.
Consumer confidence has stabilised in the past year though, with fewer consumers feeling negative about their future income levels, 39% in 2013 compared with 45% in 2012.
But, consumers are defensive about spending, albeit less so than last year; 53% said they spend cautiously when eating out, compared with 62% in 2012.