Fast-casual restaurants continue to gain market share in the U.K, growing at a faster rate than limited-service restaurants, according to Technomic’s 2010 Leading 100 U.K. Chain Restaurant Report. In 2009, the leading fast-casual chains grew their sales at a rate of 28.2 percent, with unit counts increasing 19 percent during the same time period, according to Technomic.
“Consumers are frequenting fast-casual concepts for a number of reasons, but it really comes down to how these restaurants appeal to a consumer's lifestyle, offering a small upgrade from traditional quick-service, with healthier, fresher menu items,” said Darren Tristano, Technomic executive vice president. Tristano points out that after this growth, the category occupies slightly more than 10 percent of the limited-service portion of the leading 100 U.K. restaurant chains.
Other findings from Technomic’s 2010 Leading 100 U.K. Chain Restaurant Report include:
- The Bar and Grill category, made up of casual-dining and pub chains, continued to be the leader in total sales and units for the full-service restaurant segment.
- The Coffee and Other Beverage category was the second largest in the limited-service segment, with total 2009 sales exceeding £1.2 billion, an increase in 13.5 percent over the prior year.
- The fastest growing menu categories for full-service restaurants were Asian, up 12.9 percent; and traditional, up 11.3 percent. In terms of unit growth, French and Asian were the best performers, up 9.6 and 9.5 percent respectively.