Chain restaurants are opening at a faster rate in Scotland than other areas of the UK, new figures have revealed - while nationwide figures show that pubs, Indian and Chinese restaurants are shutting down in favour of a café culture.
The number of new food and beverage outlets opening across the UK reached a new peak in the last 12 months, driven by a spike in new independent coffee shops and tearooms and chain coffee shops. The last year saw 1,333 new restaurants and cafes open across Britain, according to a report from the Local Data Company, almost double the number of the previous year.
North of the border, there are 1.3 per cent more food and beverage outlets than there was a year ago, while the number of chain restaurants has risen by 3.4 per cent. Edinburgh has seen a number of chain restaurants, including Wahaca and The Ivy open in the new St Andrew Square development.
However, across the UK, Indian and Chinese restaurants, as well as traditional pubs, are closing, while the number of new coffee shops is rocketing. Vegan restaurants have also experienced significant growth, with the number of new outlets more than doubling from eight to 17 in the past 12 months. Other cuisines to enjoy a boost are Jamaican, Middle Eastern, Carribean, Turkish and American.
Matthew Hopkinson, spokesman for LDC, said: “The growth of food and beverage outlets across Great Britain has been consistent and strong. For many high streets, shopping centres and retail parks it is now an essential part of their offer, where previously one in ten units would have been typical to see, now one in four or even three is the norm across all locations.
"The big question is can this expansion continue? I would say NO and I believe that we will see a slowdown in 2017 in the expansion of outlets. 2016 and the last 12 months have also seen a number of distressed operators as a result of fierce competition, significant increases in costs and new market forces such as food delivery where the whole business model in some cases is being seriously challenged."