Pubs advised that 'smaller, more focused ' menus are better

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Top of the list: there are more Indian restaurants than any other type of cuisine in the UK
Top of the list: there are more Indian restaurants than any other type of cuisine in the UK
Licensees should also take inspiration from restaurants focused on cuisines from overseas to drive returning diners, data experts have said.

According to 2018 figures from CGA, there are more Indian restaurants in the UK than any other type of cuisine - 5,978 in total.

And operators who feature pizza and pasta dishes on their menus are following trends as the second most common cuisine is Italian, with 5,029 restaurants across the country.

Continuing the theme of international cuisine, the UK has 2,447 Chinese restaurants – almost 1,000 more than there are modern British cuisine restaurants. However, the nation has marginally fewer American cuisine restaurants at 1,581.

Vegetarian restaurants

Top 5 restaurants by cuisine type:

  1. Indian (5,978)
  2. Italian (5,029)
  3. Chinese (2,447)
  4. Modern British (1,592)
  5. American (1,581)

At the other end of the spectrum, the UK has just 65 vegetarian restaurants. This comes after pubs were urged to offer more meat-free dishes​ last year.

The call was made by the Eating Better report The Future is flexitarian: companies leading the way​. The YouGov survey of 1,715 adults found almost half (44%) were willing to cut down on meat in their diet or cut it out, or were already committed to doing so.

The report also called for food venues to develop menus that provide a greater choice of plant-based foods, more exciting flavours, affordable pricing and to place the meat-free dishes higher up on the menu.

Authentic dishes

Licensees can take tips from the figures from the restaurant trade and make them work in their pubs by ensuring menus are smaller and dishes are authentic, according to CGA commercial director Graeme Loudon.

He said: “Pubs could take inspiration from restaurants by creating a smaller, more focused menu, understanding the key dishes and trends in the restaurant market, then working these into the menu, but the food needs to be authentic and well cooked.

“Creating a huge menu with a wide variation in cuisine styles doesn’t give the consumer confidence that the experience will be authentic.

“Whatever the cuisine type, the outlet needs to make sure it is catering from the macro consumer trend of health, by offering vegan, vegetarian and other free-from dishes such as gluten-free to cater for this more health-focused consumer.

“Whatever your pub is serving up, the service and front-line staff are key to delivering a great consumer experience and driving revisits.”

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