UK restaurant sector shows its resilience

Sales across the UK’s branded restaurant chains are tipped to reach £13.6 billion over the next three years as consumers refuse to let the economic downturn alter their dining habits.

A new report published by Allegra Strategies and Barclays predicts that between now and 2015 the branded restaurant sector will grow 22%.

This year the sector is poised to expand almost 6% to £11.1 billion.

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“Although industry sentiment is guarded, understandably dampened by a cautious economic outlook, it is clear that UK consumers are refusing to give up on affordable eating out,” stated Anya Marco, director of insight at Allegra Strategies.

Allegra surveyed more than 300 industry leaders and 12,000 consumers for its ‘Project Restaurant’ report.

It revealed that 70% of consumers still expect to dine out at the same rate as they have done in the past year, the report showed, although a fifth said they would stop visiting a restaurant if discount vouchers were not offered.

Earlier this month, analyst firm Horizons said that average spend on all forms of eating out reached £13.80 last year, with the casual dining sector set to return to pre-credit crunch levels this year.

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