Restaurants are "bucking the economic trend" and hospitality landlords will be expecting growth over the next 12 months, the 28th annual Fleurets rental survey has found.
Released today, the survey explores the economic state of UK pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants via work undertaken by the leisure property specialists over the past 18 months. Overall, it noted continuing uncertainty in the sector, yet suggested that there "may be a return to growth" over the next year, noting 37% more reviews compared to 2012. This "perhaps reflects that we are at long last beginning to see an upturn in the market, or at least the end of the downturn", the report said.
The survey results also highlighted restaurants as particularly successful, with expanding portfolios and generally "competitive rents". This is especially visible when it comes to pub restaurant companies, which are increasingly starting to compete with fast food outlets for sites such as those in retail parks.
The report also stated that the economic benefit felt in the capital following last year's Olympics and Royal Diamond Jubilee may be beginning to trickle out to the regions, which signals that "we may have turned a corner from the problems of the past five years".
The new pub operating Codes of Practice, which ultimately make sure that landlords act fairly on rent when the market rent has fallen to below existing rent levels, were also outlined. Previously, rents could only be reviewed upwards, but the company reiterates that "with the new Codes, rents can go down as well as up".
"Ultimately," the report advised, "It is far better for a landlord to have a tenant in a property paying the correct rent rather than having an over-rented tenant struggling to meet his obligations."
However, the report was cautious about growth in other areas, emphasising that nightclubs are still struggling amid high youth unemployment, student debt and competition from late night bars.
Despite this warning, however, overall Fleurets was cautiously positive about the year ahead, saying that industry landlords will be expecting growth, and that rents are likely to be agreed at affordable levels.