Analysis of the UK’s top 20 food-to-go brands has revealed that more than 40% of their collective store estates are based in London, raising suggestions that some could be forced to rethink their long-term location strategies in the coming months.
The food-to-go sector has been significantly impacted by the change in working culture, with many stores based in usually dense commuter areas suffering a slump in revenues since March.
The Local Data Company (LDC) said that 42% of all units from the 20 largest players have London postcodes – and many are clustered around areas with previously busy office populations.
If you combine city centre and London postcodes, almost 70% of units are located in these office-focused locations as opposed to the smaller and more residential towns.
“Over the coming months these brands will be taking a long, hard look at their location strategies, which have served them well until very recently and will be wondering, what next?” the company stated.
Food to go includes brands that sell food not generally for consumption on site, such as Tossed, Pret A Manger, Subway and Coco Di Mam, and differs slightly to the fast food takeaway category, which typically encompasses fast food operators such as McDonalds and KFC.
LDC said that many of these brands have already taken steps towards a strategy overhaul, with a handful announcing a CVA.
“Of the top 20 used for this analysis, five have taken this path, and it’s striking to see how heavily concentrated these brands are in London and other city centres, with Tossed and Abokado being almost entirely London-focused.
“Upper Crust, while more diversified between London and other cities mainly operates from travel hubs, and with passenger numbers down 95% at the height of lockdown in April it’s no surprise that it is taking decisive steps to rationalise its estate.”