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Restaurant industry undergoing "a period of transformation", reveals Christie & Co's Business Outlook report

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, 'Business Outlook 2024', which reflects on key market activity, trends and challenges of 2023 and forecasts what 2024 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operate, including the restaurant sector.

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Business Outlook 2024 front cover

The report notes that the UK restaurant industry has been undergoing a period of transformation in recent years, driven by pre-covid over expansion, challenging trading conditions and changing consumer dining habits. These factors continued to significantly shape the sector landscape and transactional activity in 2023, resulting in a negative 5.3% movement in Christie & Co's restaurant price index.

Christie & Co data revealed the team sold a total of £6.75m worth of restaurants in 2024 and 85% of sales were leases. In addition, the franchise market experienced increased activity, and the team assisted several key domestic and international market players with both franchisor disposals and franchisee searches. This included Sushi Shop, Chozen Noodles and international brands, Carl's Jr, Paulaner and Bonchon, who are looking to enter the UK market.

The report also outlines Christie & Co's market predictions for the year ahead, which are:

  • Mid-Market casual dining will continue to struggle for real growth
  • Some return to profitability as menu prices remain steady and inflationary costs reduce
  • Continued expansion for franchise brands with greater variety
  • Market landscape will continue to compress/decline
  • Uptick in insolvencies due to ongoing headwinds however this will attract new entrants seeking opportunity as confidence returns
  • Drop in new site openings as operators look to make better use of existing sites

Simon Chaplin, Senior Director of Pubs, Restaurants & Franchise at Christie & Co, comments, “ In a year when closures reached a peak of five a day in Q1 2023, and over 2,000 businesses closed during a 12-month period, it’s clear to see it was a difficult year for restaurants. However, this may have represented a catch-up year from a tide that started in 2018. Such adversity often sees the best look to innovate and we are already seeing operators, large and small, review their business, tighten up on costs and fine-tune their audience. This is most evident in the QSR (quick service restaurant) market, where we have seen sustained growth since covid, as new and exciting franchise brands bring their offer to the UK market. As a result, the consumer will benefit which will keep them coming out for more, breathing life back into the industry.

Click here to read the full report:

For further information on this press release, contact:     
Bronte Hughes, Corporate Communications Manager
P: 020 7227 0794 or E:

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