This growth is despite stagnating wages and increasing inflation, according to NPD Group, which also claimed breakfast and lunch day parts would continue to increase in importance.
However, dinner occasions are expected to decline, even though an uptick in delivered food is expected.
By the end of 2019, there could be 5% fewer dinner visits when compared with 2016, a dip of more than 134m.
“Delivery has risen quickly to become a significant catalyst in the British foodservice industry. Its rapid rate of expansion looks set to continue as the likes of Just Eat, UberEATS and Deliveroo expand their reach across the country,” said the research.
“This will encourage more foodservice operators to adopt delivery as a route to market, and NPD is predicting an additional spend of £656m (up 17%) by consumers on delivery occasions by 2019.”
Much of the growth in eating out will come from increased footfall around breakfast and lunch occasions.
Currently, breakfast accounts for more than one eighth of the 11.36bn eating out occasions in 2017. NPD, however, expects breakfast visits to rise by 5.7% next year and by a further 4.8% by the end of 2019.
Despite murmurings from analysts in the market, burger sales too are expected to increase sales.
The report said: “Burgers are likely to retain their popularity and enjoy a boost from the delivery boom. The NPD Group expects burgers to lead growth in both visits and consumer spend. Outlets serving quick-service burgers will see visits grow by 5.1% in 2018 and 4.5% in 2019.”
While there are pockets of optimism in the eating-out sector, snacking is set to take a kicking as consumers tighten their belts and forgo this discretionary occasion.
Cutting back on snacks is an established consumer tactic for spending less on eating out, and will spend 1.2% less on snacks in 2018 and 1.1% less in 2019.