Britain’s growing taste for international cuisines is leading ethnic restaurant chains to steal market share from independents.
Analyst firm Horizons’ latest ‘OnesTo Watch’ report ranks ethnic restaurants among the fastest-growing areas of the branded eating out sector, and notes that new brands are beginning to “colonize” areas of the foodservice sector previously dominated by independents.
The report even includes a record number of new concepts – with 105 ‘Ones To Watch’ brands, and 88 ‘Bubbling Under’ brands, which are those that have yet to reach five outlets.
Horizons said that the fastest growing areas for branded restaurant chains included Chinese, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Mexican and Thai.
It added that the eating out market is still a “dynamic” one in terms of new openings, concepts and plans for expansion, with brands of the future likely to succeed on the basis of being fresh, casual, affordable and authentic.
Horizons said there was room for many of the fledgling brands that it has identified to expand and eventually become recognised names on the high street.
This includes Giggling Squid, which has 80 sites planned over the next seven years, Bill’s which has grown fivefold in the last three years, and Mezze, which already has six sites and is planning for 10 more.