More than half of Brits prefer eating at independent venues

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Shut up shop: some 37% of Brits have seen their favourite local venue close in the past year
Shut up shop: some 37% of Brits have seen their favourite local venue close in the past year
Some 53% around the country prefer to eat out at independent establishments in order to support local businesses, according to a new survey.

The research also discovered that 42% of Brits think the Government should introduce limits on the number of national or multi-national chain restaurants operating on the UK’s high streets.

London-based food-tech company GoKart commissioned an independent, nationally-representative survey among more than 2,000 UK adults, aimed at uncovering people’s perceptions towards large food chains and local independent restaurants.

It found that 50% of Brits fear local high-street businesses are struggling to compete with national and multi-national restaurant and food chains.

Weakening pound

As a result, more than one third (37%) of consumers have seen one or more of their favourite local venues close in the past 12 months alone.

Some 43% are concerned this trend is set to continue, with fears that Brexit and the weakening pound will result in more closures and higher-priced meals.

These findings coincide with a report from the Government’s insolvency service, which found that 984 restaurants fell into administration in 2017 – a 20% rise on the previous year’s figures.

The research also uncovered the UK public’s beliefs about their local outlets with almost two thirds (63%) of Brits saying independent venues offer greater varieties of cuisine or more creative dishes over the standardised foods provided by larger chains.

Strong competition

Furthermore, nearly seven in 10 (69%) UK adults stated that the freshness and quality of ingredients is the most important thing they look for when choosing somewhere to eat.

GoKart CEO and founder Anx Patel said: “Local independent restaurants have been struggling to compete with big chains and this research demonstrates the challenges facing those high-street establishments when competing against their larger competitors.

“However it is positive to see that more than half of UK adults are willing to support their local restaurants, drawn by the diverse offering of different cuisines and foods, not to mention the freshness and high quality of ingredients that are commonly used.

“In light of the challenges currently facing the restaurant industry, local high-street restaurants need to be clever in the way they operate, ensuring they are cost efficient without sacrificing the quality of food they deliver.

“This can range from optimising their inventories to reducing unnecessary food waste and sourcing fresh local ingredients at the best available prices.”

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