Eating out is set to decline over the next two years – but casual dining could buck the trend – according to analysis by global information company the NPD Group.
In a report released this week it predicts that the UK on-premise food market will continue to fall.
It peaked with 4.58 billion visits in 2016 but has been in decline ever since. NPD estimates it will drop by a further eight per cent to 4.02 billion visits in 2020. Spend will go up but this will be driven by increased menu prices.
However, casual dining continues to grow and by 2020 is expected to gain 43 million extra visits to represent 5.5 per cent of the total UK eating out market. Spend is predicted to go up by £960m (15.5 per cent).
Full service restaurants are expected to decline in that period by 63 million visits (9.3 per cent).
Dominic Allport, insights director with The NPD Group, said: "The pressures affecting on-premise eating and drinking is a big theme in British foodservice. The old habit of going shopping and finding a place to sit down and eat is on the wane as more people shop online.
"We are predicting that all the meaningful growth in foodservice will be 'off-premise' and this is where the industry will address the decline on the high street."
Off premise visits, such as takeaway, grab and go and drive-thrus are expected to grow. NPD expects customers to spend 22 per cent more to grow the worth of the sector to £5.8bn in two years time.