Restaurant market presents opportunities for new independent operators, says Christie & Co

Street food markets, pop ups and box parks are said to have adopted a strong position.

Further casualties of high street restaurant brands present opportunities for new independent operators, according to Christie & Co.

“More operators are expected to turn to CVAs or fall into administration throughout the remainder of the year, as many continue to report falling or marginal like for likes. Christie & Co predicts at least one CVA will fail where the business cannot be turned around by the end of the CVA period, in a case similar to Jamie’s Italian,” the company said.

“As a result, landlords have sought alternative tenants, exploring the available options to offer greater variety in order to attract customers back to the retail high street and shopping centres.”

Simultaneously, Christie & Co said that consumers have shown some signs of “tightening their belts”, with restaurant operators having to restructure their offer accordingly by introducing an all-day offering or adopting a more casual approach to the dining experience.

“Both newcomers and established operators have found new opportunities within the market. Loungers, Franco Manca and Mowgli have committed to further expansion, taking advantage of stressed landlords. The fastest expanding brand in the market is M&B’s steak offering, Miller & Carter, which surpassed 100 sites in 2018 and has its sights set on expanding to 150, targeting both large pubs and retail space,” the company said.

New concepts, such as street food markets, pop ups and box parks, is said to have also adopted a strong position in the current market.

Christie & Co also reiterated that delivery services from Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats and ‘Grab & Go’ will continue to find new successes.

"Despite debate surrounding the benefit of delivery services to restaurants, who have to pay around 30% of the sale, the aggressive drive of the three largest ordering platforms will hopefully bring down costs for operators.”

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