, UK
/Meaningful Vision

Chart of the Week: Burger and chicken chain outlet numbers in the UK 

Data reveals London loves chicken over burgers.

There are 3.6 fast-food burger chain outlets per 100,000 people and only 2.5 chicken shops per 100,000 people, highlighting the fact that most consumers in the UK love burgers over chicken.

However, diving deeper into the data, Meaningful Vision reveals that when examining the data by region, the nationwide average deviates significantly from the median.

Going by burger restaurant density alone, London and the North East region love burgers the most with 4.2 restaurants per capita. However, in chicken restaurant terms, London has more with 5.1 chicken restaurants per capita, followed by South East at 2.8 per capita.

 Amongst regions with fewer stores per 100,000 people are the West Midlands (2.8) and the South West (3.1) for burgers, and the South West (1.7), Scotland (1.8), and Yorkshire and The Humber (1.8) for chicken chains. 

Meaningful Vision’s data states that burger restaurants are evenly distributed across the country. On average, the difference between the most densely populated fast-food points in regions and the least populated ones is three times for chicken chains, but for burgers, this difference is only 1.5.

Amongst large towns and cities, Gateshead (7.2), Ashford (6.5), and Portsmouth (6.09) have the highest number of burger stores per capita – more than 6 per 100,000 people. 

The next five areas with the highest number of burgers per 100,000 are Blackpool (5.96), Cardiff (5.87), Milton Keynes (5.8), Crawley (5.8), and Brighton (5.7). 

These areas outpace London, where the point density is 4.2. Maria Vanifatova, CEO of Meaningful Vision, attributed the lower number for London to a higher number of fast-casual and casual dining burger establishments competing with fast-food burger chains for consumers. 

Belfast also ranks high, at #10 in this category with 5.6, despite Northern Ireland having fewer chain fast-food outlets on average. Stockport - 2.0, Bradford - 2.2, and Wolverhampton - 2.3, however, find themselves at the bottom of this list.

Meanwhile, Meaningful Vision also found out that chicken fast-food outlets are predominantly concentrated in suburban areas of London, including Croydon (11), Harrow (7), and Romford (6). 

Milton Keynes (5.8), Bournemouth (4.8), and Slough (4.7) are also in the top 10. In contrast, cities like York (1.1), Norwich (1.1), and Bath (0.9) have seven times fewer chicken outlets than the leading locales. However, these cities tend to have more burger shops than the national average.

“Despite fast food dominating the UK foodservice market, the variation in the distribution of outlets across different regions, cities, and towns is not always apparent, and there is still room to grow,” Vanifatova said.

Read the whole study here.

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