London and Manchester have seen the greatest growth in casual dining brands over the past three years, according to Savills' Casual Dining in the UK report.
The report ranks the top 50 towns based on the growth in brands since the end of 2012, and also the total supply of casual dining restaurants. Manchester has 78 branded casual dining restaurants, the highest number of any town outside London. Of these, 31% have opened since the end of 2012, meaning Manchester has also seen the highest growth in casual dining restaurants of any town outside London over the last three years.
The top four locations (London West End, London City, Manchester and Leeds) that have seen the most growth in the past three years are also the locations with the highest supply of brands.
In the report the five formats expected to be most successful over the next five years are premium fast food, all day and flexible formats, street food and pop-ups, premium casual dining and third-party delivery services.
Tom Whittington, research director at Savills, said: "It's not a surprise to have London at the top of the rankings but the reality of today's eating out market is that beyond the M25, there are more expansion opportunities for leading branded operators. This is shown by the presence of cities such as Leicester, York and Milton Keynes."
David Bell, head of leisure at Savills, added: "It's interesting to look at the lower half of the ranking, which includes locations such as Basingstoke, Chester, Bromley and St Albans, as these are places where this is clear opportunity. We would expect to see more brands targeting these towns and increasing the supply."
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