1/19/2022 | Restaurants

Opportunities exist for the restaurant sector despite a challenging backdrop

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has today launched its annual Business Outlook report, ‘Business Outlook 2022: Adjust, Adapt, Advance’, which reflects on the themes, activity and challenges of 2021 and forecasts what 2022 might bring across the industries in which Christie & Co operate, including the restaurant sector.


The report notes that COVID-19 has had a polarising effect on restaurants across the UK. The sector has been hit particularly hard due to the distress that existed within the market prior to the pandemic. The events over the last two years have exacerbated this situation and will have a lasting impact on the sector landscape.

This is reflected in Christie & Co’s restaurant price index for 2021, with average prices decreasing by 12.9%. This saw a continuation of the decline in prices since 2017, albeit with a more moderate decrease compared to 2020.

Despite this challenging backdrop, opportunities still exist for restaurateurs, with certain markets such as take-away and delivery, franchised businesses and quick serve restaurants having experienced growth in 2021. This fluidity is also bringing about great opportunities for expanding hospitality entrepreneurs, many who are backed by “new” money. Much of the expansion is in the fast casual dining and grab and go market, with many focussed on suburbs and regional villages to take advantage of the booming delivery and local markets.

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

  • Bumpy road ahead – Further casualties, both large and small as landlords start to seek rents and other debt payments come into play
  • Growth opportunities – As key sites become vacant and rents fall with ever increasing incentives available, operators without legacy burdens will take advantage
  • Town and City recovery – Whilst out of town venues have benefited during 2021, we should see a return to major towns and cities during 2022
  • Good operators will get better – Those with the ability to adapt and offer what the customer wants will fare well. Many are seeking staff from a wider immigration pool, which will lead to more creativity with menus and they will continue to service delivery demand

Stephen Owens, Managing Director of Pubs & Restaurants at Christie & Co comments, “Prior to the pandemic the restaurant sector was already suffering the ill effects of over-expansion, particularly on the High Street and Covid simply accelerated this distress. We have however seen positives with delivery, takeaway and the quick service sectors benefiting from the pandemic, together with increasing activity in franchising as an operational platform.”

Click here to read the full report, ‘Business Outlook 2022: Adjust, Adapt, Advance’.

Go straight to the Pub section and view the Hospitality Interview with MD of Pubs & Restaurants, Stephen Owens; MD of Hotels, Carine Bonnejean; and special guest, Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive, UKHospitality HERE.

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

P: 020 7227 0794 or E: bronte.hughes@christie.com