Recession fuels 8% growth in UK fast-food industry

23 November 2009 by
Recession fuels 8% growth in UK fast-food industry

The UK's fast food industry has benefited from the recession, with the sector increasing its presence by more than 8% in the last year, research has found.

While the leisure sector on a whole has seen a closure rate of 10%, fast food restaurants in the UK's top 10 cities have risen by 8.2% to more than 1,450, according to a survey by market analyst the Local Research Company.

The Food for Thought review of fast food outlets found that the most successful brands have been Domino's,Eat and Prêt A Manger. Burger King has been the least successful, having closed 11.8% of its outlets in the top 10 cities which include London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Cardiff.

Pizza chain Domino's has increased its presence by a whopping 50%, while healthy fast food group Eat boosted its portfolio by 36.4% and sandwich chain Prêt A Manger by 29.7%.

Across all 705 UK town centres analysed by the report, sandwich chain Subway grew the most, increasing its portfolio by 25.9% to 734 units.

James Moss, from boutique property investment firm Curzon Investment Property, said: "The Domino's and Subway franchise model has allowed them to be pretty recession proof, and many individual businessmen have found them to be sturdy investments, as these figures show."

He added: "Britons are also shunning posh business lunches and choosing instead to head to Eat or Prêt for a sandwich."

Independent operators (with less than five outlets) have increased their market share by 2.2% across the UK's top ten cities to further fuel the feeling that many high streets are turning England into ‘fried chicken Britain'.

The UK top 10 fast food cities:

  • Central London (847)
  • Edinburgh (129)
  • Glasgow (94)
  • Manchester (74)
  • Liverpool (64)
  • Bristol (60)
  • Newcastle (60)
  • Leeds (53)
  • Birmingham (51)
  • Cardiff (24)

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By Kerstin Kühn

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