New research among more than 2,000 UK adults, over 500 of which are in Greater London, commissioned by food technology startup GoKart has revealed how rising prices and restaurant closures are impacting consumers. It found:
- 55% of Londoners are deterred from going to restaurants due to how expensive they are when compared with takeaways and ready meals. This is far higher than the UK average of 42%, showing the issue of high prices in the capital
- In fact, 52% of consumers in Greater London say they only go to restaurants for special occasions due to the costs involved
- Unfortunately, when choosing a restaurant to go to, over two fifths (43%) of London-based respondents said they have been disappointed to see one of their favourite local restaurants close down in the past 12 months – higher than the UK average of 37%
- A further 56% said they have become concerned that fast food chains are driving independent restaurants out of their local area
The independent, nationally representative survey demonstrates how the cost of a restaurant meal is prohibiting consumers from eating out as often as they like.
GoKart’s research comes as a report from the Government’s Insolvency Service found that 984 restaurants fell into administration in 2017 – a 20% increase on the previous year’s figures. And with Brexit threatening to drive up ingredient prices and many restaurants fighting back against increases to business rates, this figure could continue to rise.
The research also delved into diners look for when choosing a restaurant, finding:
- 68% of Londoners say the quality and freshness of the ingredients is the most important thing they are looking for when deciding which restaurant to go to
- The ethicality and providence of the ingredients is also important – 49% of consumers in and around the capital said this was a key factor
- Furthermore, over half (56%) of adults in Greater London prefer to go to independent restaurants instead of chains when eating in a restaurant. Indeed, 65% believe independent restaurants offer greater variety and creativity in their cookery than the meals offered by larger chains
Anx Patel, CEO and founder of GoKart, commented on the findings: “Whether it’s a special treat or a regular occurrence, there’s no questioning that Londoners love to eat out. But it’s also becoming increasingly clear that the city’s restaurants are facing really challenging conditions at present.
“Higher rents, rising business rates and the looming threat of Brexit driving ingredient prices upwards are all threatening the capital’s much-loved restaurants, while also making meals more expensive. It is vital that both the government and restaurant managers work together to ensure our high street eateries thrive, and Londoners can continue to get high quality and affordable meals whatever the occasion.”