New restaurant openings soar as pub numbers decline

22 September 2015 by
New restaurant openings soar as pub numbers decline

There are now more licensed restaurants than community pubs for the first time this year, according to the latest figures.

Meanwhile there was a 4.4% decline in drink-led pubs and bars - including a 5.1% in community pub numbers, which reflects the continuing shift in consumer preferences towards eating out.

As a result there are now more restaurants with licences in the UK than so-called wet-led community locals - at 27,500 against 26,700.

The number of pubs and bars overall fell by 2.6% over the year to just above 53,000.

Peter Martin, vice president of CGA Peach, said: "The good news is that the long-term decline in the total number of licensed premises in Britain - including hotels, clubs, restaurants and other venues selling alcohol on the premises - appears to have bottomed out."

Branded food pubs saw a 9% growth in numbers over the year - and the bulk of overall growth in restaurants came from the largely branded chain restaurant market, CGA Peach and Alix Partners said.

London remains the biggest market for eating and drinking out, with the number of sites up 3.3% over the past year. Food-led businesses were also up by 6.9%, representing a net increase of almost 500 new licensed businesses.

However, other cities have also experienced growth including Leicester, Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds.

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