Scottish independence ‘could drive restaurant sales’

The value of Scotland’s foodservice sector could be accelerated if this week’s referendum returns a ‘yes’ for independence.

While business leaders in other sectors such as retail have warned that independence could drive higher prices and impact trade, the foodservice sector is predicted to maintain its growth course.

Scotland’s foodservice market is currently worth £3.1bn, some 6.8% of the UK total.

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And foodservice consultancy Horizons insists the potential for further growth is strong as the average spend per head on eating out in Scotland is lower than the national average.

“An independent Scotland could see renewed interest in eating out as tourism is boosted alongside business, declared Horizons’ managing director Peter Backman.

“Scotland lags behind the rest of the UK in terms of eating out, and particularly sectors such as casual dining and quick service so we are likely to see growth in these areas.”

Scottish consumers spend an average of £602 per year on eating out compared with the UK average of £724 per year.

Compared with the UK Scotland has a strong bias towards eating out in hotels, which represents 33% of the market (compared with 19% across the UK).

Popular destination eating out (in restaurants, pubs, takeaways and fast food) represents a lower proportion of eating out spend in Scotland at 43%, compared with the average spend in the rest of the UK at 62%.

Annual growth for the foodservice sector in Scotland is forecast at 2.1%, the same as for the rest of the UK.

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