Consumer uncertainty and political instability may reign in 2018, but these restaurant industry stats gathered from the year so far will prove that it’s not all doom and gloom at the moment!

1. The industry is worth over £20 billion to the economy

However rocky the market may seem today, the fact that British restaurants contributed £20 billion to the country’s economy last year is certainly reassuring.

This 4.3 per cent year-on-year increase reflects the important role restaurants play in the consumer culture of the UK.

2. Regional restaurants are outpacing London eateries in terms of sales growth

The capital may inject over £11 billion annually into the restaurant biz, but growth in London was outstripped by other parts of the UK last year.

This includes a 192 per cent rise in Coventry, which outshines sales in every other city in the UK. Good news for independents, then!

3. Delivery services boost sales by £372 million

Restaurants are seeing a spike in sales thanks to the impact of Deliveroo and its rivals, with customers now able to order home delivery from outlets that couldn’t provide this in-house in the past.

4. Gin sales topped £1.5 billion annually

Brits are becoming obsessed with gin again, with sales from shops, bars and restaurants hitting a new high after rising by 40 per cent in the past 12 months.

Catering to gin drinkers allows restaurants to shift high margin beverages and also give people another reason to book a table.

5. Cashless payments are boosting turnover levels

Earlier this year the nation’s first restaurant to operate without accepting cash payments opened, ushering in a new era of convenience for consumers and efficiency for eateries.

Tossed has enjoyed a 13.6 per cent rise in turnover thanks to its move towards a cash-free approach to payment, since it helps waiting staff during busy periods and reduces the likelihood of customers having their orders delayed.

6. The average Brit eats at a restaurant twice each week

Consumers in the UK may be holding onto their disposable income rather than splashing out on luxuries at the moment, but that doesn’t stop them from indulging in meals out.

With stats showing that a typical adult will visit an eatery two times every 7 days, spending £250,000 to fuel this habit over their lifetime, there is cause to be confident about the future of the industry.

7. Millennials and Gen Z-ers are catalysing restaurant sales growth

The under-35s are now the most important audience for restaurants to target, with a Deloitte study indicating that they make more monthly visits than any of their older counterparts.

This is not just about lunch and dinner; figures show that most people in this age bracket head to restaurants an average of four times a month for breakfast.

Complaints about millennial ‘avocado obsession’ therefore sound hollow when it’s obvious that this is working wonders for brunch-friendly outlets!

Wrapping up

The restaurant industry is a resilient beast, surviving financial crises and outside pressures for decades; it’s simply a case of evolving to overcome challenges rather than being swamped by them.