Healthy food chains present equipment opportunity

Restaurants specialising in healthy and sustainably-sourced fast food are being earmarked as key investors in equipment over the coming years as positive consumer uptake fuels their store growth.

A report from Allegra Strategies suggests that chains which are successfully tapping into demand for nutritious food are poised to experience strong growth over the next five years — and that could provide new opportunities for the catering equipment market.

“New/emerging fast food is expected to be the winning business model in the next 3-5 years in terms of growth,” stated Allegra. “Foodservice leaders and operators such as Leon, Chipotle and Pod are showing signs of robust sales and expansion growth as the consumer positively responds to newer, healthier fast food offerings.”

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Allegra predicts that the ‘informal eating out’ market will grow from £52 billion to £65 billion by 2017 with a CAGR of 4.9%.

It says that more than 225,000 outlets fall into the informal eating out bracket, with traditional fast food outlets dominating the growth up to now.

Key international chains continue to post the strongest store growth, investing in new kit along the way.

Subway is the main driver of expansion growth in absolute terms, adding 134 stores to its estate to reach 1,557 outlets, followed by Domino’s, which has added an additional 102 outlets over the past year.

“The leading group in terms of turnover is McDonald’s, followed by restaurant group Yum! Brands, with brands, KFC and Pizza Hut,” said Allegra. “However, Jamie’s Italian stands out in sales per outlet, with average weekly sales at £50,000 — a figure which surpasses other brands’ performance in the market.”

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