At least two or three more restaurant groups will collapse before the end of the year, Christie & Co has warned in its half-year review.
However despite this prediction, the business property advisor has revealed statistics showing small restaurant groups expanded by almost 20% in the last year.
Christie & Co has said that larger operators exposed in high streets and retail parks will face several years of pain, but smaller groups can be optimistic about the emergence of new deals and concepts.
Christie & Co said: "Smaller, nimble operators have emerged as a key player this year, remaining focused on their food offering and providing a great experience, while landlords have started to relax on covenant strength, levels of deposit and rent-free periods.
"Operators, such as Loungers, have jumped on the opportunity to add one or two sites to their collections, which otherwise might not have become available. In many cases, these additional sites are not branded as such, as operators realise that the ‘cookie cutter' approach is out of favour with diners who are seeking new and interesting eateries."
At the end of 2017, Christie & Co had reported that established brands were suffering as consumers increasingly shifted towards innovative experiences.
Some larger operators including Nando's and Wagamama have so far seemed to be resilient, while small brands such as Honest Burger and Giggling Squid have continued their expansion plans.
Christie & Co also predicted that technology, particularly the home delivery services and apps, would become increasingly important.