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Pubs and restaurants to bounce back “with a vengeance” in 2022-2024

Published:  29 June, 2021

A total of £3.1bn growth is expected for the UK eating and drinking out market from 2022-24, new data has forecasted, with pubs and restaurants set to claim a £1.3bn share.

The figures, from Lumina Intelligence’s UK Eating Out Market Report 2021, show a major recovery could be on the cards for the UK hospitality sector which will have been subjected to seven months of restrictions by the time the latest Freedom Day rolls around on 19 July.

Managed branded and franchised pubs are expected to see the biggest slice of that £1.3bn pie with a forecasted £662m in sales. Next is the independent pub sector with £432m and branded restaurants at £207m in predicted sales.

The rest of the eating out sector is taken up by sub-segments such as fast food, coffee shops, travel and food to go.

With restrictions in place for much of 2021, recovery will inevitably be slower for service-led channels such as pubs and restaurants initially, analysts said. However, “as consumer confidence continues to grow, 2022 will be the year that these sub-segments of the market bounce-back with a vengeance. Nearly a third of consumers say they intend to eat and drink out less in the next 12 months versus their pre-pandemic habits, with around one-in-eight expected to increase their frequency.”

As previously reported by Harpers, the total eating and drinking out market is expected to see 44.7% YOY growth in 2022, the equivalent value of almost £92bn and surpassing its 2019 value growth as pent up demand gives the sector a boost in its post-pandemic recovery.

In 2021, recovery is set to see more tempered growth. According to Lumina Intelligence, the total eating and drinking out market is set to recover to 70% of its 2019 value by the end of the year, but with some sub-segments expected to fare better than others.

While channels with more focus on “lower ticket solutions” such as takeaways are well placed to capitalise on consumers seeking out cheaper meals, pubs and service-led restaurants are expected to see the slowest recovery overall, partly because of the size of the market they represent and because of the enormous impact of restrictions on trading.

However, service-led channels such as pubs and restaurants are expected to enjoy a major windfall from next year and beyond.

Overall, the next few years look “very positive” analysts added, with the total UK eating and drinking out market forecast to grow by 33.4% in 2021 worth £63.6bn, before making a full recovery and exceeding its 2019 market value by the end of 2022.