Restaurant-goers turning their backs on Italian cuisine, new report claims

British restaurant-goers are increasingly saying “arrivederci” to spaghetti and garlic bread and turning their attention to dishes such as ?tabbouleh, falafel and fried plantain, research indicates.

Italian restaurants are losing ground to other global cuisines.
Italian restaurants are losing ground to other global cuisines.

Public appetite for Middle Eastern, Caribbean and vegetarian cuisine is soaring among British diners, while demand for Italian cuisine is waning, according to a report published this week.

The number of Middle Eastern restaurants in Britain has shot up by 61 per cent since 2014, with 270 businesses operating as of June this year, the report produced by consultancy firm AlixPartners and data insight company CGA states.

Caribbean restaurants are also flourishing, with their number nearly tripling in five years to 117. As the number of people adopting a vegetarian or flexitarian diet surged last year, so too did the number of restaurants catering for them.

There were 88 vegetarian restaurants in June, up from 52 five years earlier, with 12 of these new premises opening last year alone.

Italian remains the nation’s favourite cuisine when it comes to dining out, but between 2018 and this year the number of Italian restaurants operating in more than one location dropped by 3.2 per cent.

Overall nearly 1,000 restaurants in Britain closed in the 12 months to June this year as the spectacular growth enjoyed by the industry in recent years came to an end.

There were 26,265 restaurants in Britain as of June this year, with 924 businesses shutting up shop over the 
previous 12 months, equating to an average of 18 closures per week. Independent restaurateurs have borne the brunt of the closures.