Press Releases

Certain restaurant markets see growth in 2022 despite challenging trading conditions

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, ‘Business Outlook 2023: Finding Clarity’, which reflects on the themes, market activity and challenges of 2022 and forecasts what 2023 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operates, including the leisure sector.

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The report suggests that the COVID-19 related upheaval of the last two years has fundamentally re-shaped the UK restaurant sector, from both a consumer behaviour and operational point of view, with customers and operators placing a significant emphasis on convenience, consistency and value now more than ever. This enabled certain markets, such as delivery, quick service restaurants (QSR) franchising and drive through, to forge ahead and see growth in 2022 despite the challenging trading conditions.

According to Christie & Co data, there is still an appetite for well-priced sites and whilst we observed some individual asset sales throughout 2022, the transactional market was largely subdued due to declining consumer sentiment.

Despite the headwinds, freehold restaurant sales held up well, showing a 30% increase in transactional volumes, with prices achieved within 10% of the final asking price. This resulted in a marginal drop (0.4%) in our restaurant price index for 2022 although it remains challenging to achieve historical premium values.

Several key market trends were revealed in the report, such as half of our buyers live within 20 miles of the business that they buy and 85% of transactions are cash funded as lenders read the headlines and get nervous. This has caused the offer levels to drop and meant that the number of leasehold restaurant transactions with a premium in 2022 was at an all-time low. Surprisingly, distressed transactions remained at a low level due to the fact that, with no value to be gained, many keys went direct to landlords.

Looking to the year ahead, the report also outlines Christie & Co’s market predictions which are:

  • Increased roll out of new, more cost-effective models and brands
  • More CVAs as tired and over leveraged businesses feel the heat
  • Good property deals as landlords offer concessions and rent deals
  • Continuing popularity of QSR, franchising and drive through

Simon Chaplin, Senior Director of Pubs, Restaurants & Franchise at Christie & Co comments, “In a sector which has historically been dominated by leasehold asset sales, it is good to see freehold restaurants make up a large part of the current market. This is driven in part by the work-from-home revolution, whereby customers are now more regularly able to frequent neighbourhood venues in their market town or village, which are more likely to be an owner operated freehold business.

“Where consumers are looking for consistency and value, the franchised brands are taking advantage and this is an area of the transactional market we see developing further in 2023.”

Click here to read the full report, Business Outlook 2023: Finding Clarity’.

For further information on this press release, contact:
Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Manager

P: 020 7227 0794 or E:

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