British foodservice industry visits are poised to fall over the next two years but spend will increase to a record £60 billion – purely because operators will be forced to increase menu prices.
Research firm NPD Group thinks that visits in the British out-of-home (OOH) or eat-out foodservice market will slide in 2019 and 2020 after peaking at 11.35 billion visits in 2017. Last year they dropped – 0.5% to 11.29 billion.
While the company forecasts a further drop of -0.5% in 2019 and another -0.1% in 2020, it calculates that overall spend will soar 5% to £59.47 billion by end of 2020. That equates to almost £3 billion more than last year, but it largely tells a story of the rising costs facing operators as much as anything else.
NPD says the increase will be “mainly” driven by operators increasing menu prices as they respond to cost pressures, including inflation.
The average individual cheque reached £5.00 in 2018 and will rise an additional 5.6% by 2020 to £5.30, it said.
A key trend in British foodservice is the decline of the on-premise sector (food and drinks consumed where purchased) versus off-premise (delivery, takeaway / grab ‘n’ go and drive-thru).
This is the result of the long-term decline in retail footfall as more shoppers purchase online. The on-premise market peaked at 4.58 billion visits in 2016 but dropped in the two years following.
It will lose a further 8% by end 2020 (vs. 2018) to reach 4.02 billion visits, NPD said. On-premise spend will increase marginally – but mainly as a result of operators increasing menu prices.