UK’s independent restaurants are set to prosper in 2016

UK’s independent restaurants are set to prosper in 2016

The below content was written prior to May 2020 when Checkit launched a new website. This coincided with the use of updated terminology for solutions, concepts and company names. The companies Tutela, Axon and Next Control Systems are now Checkit. Checkit’s Real-time Operations Management is now referred to as Connected Workflow Management, Tutela solutions are now referred to as Automated Monitoring +, and Axon/Next Control Systems solutions are now referred to as Connected Building Management.

Statistics show that British consumers are dining out at independent restaurants more than ever before. But in a competitive industry, how do you grab your slice of the pie?

Dining out is on the up!

It’s a decent time to be a food retailer here in Blighty. For the past decade there has been year-on-year growth in the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners consumed in the nation’s cafés and restaurants. British consumers are dining out more frequently than ever before, spending an average of £44 each month at their favourite restaurants.

Breakfast has seen the biggest growth, according to research. 1 in 3 people purchase their morning meal from a café or restaurant at least once a week in the UK. Another trend – solo dining – is gathering momentum too. Restaurant booking site OpenTable claim bookings of dinners-for-one have increased by 110% over the last two years.

With the growth showing no sign of slowing, food industry insight consultancy Horizons predicts that the UK food service sector will grow by £10 billion by 2019. British people are hungry. And they want you to feed them.

Good news for independent restaurants…

Big brand chains are pervasive in the UK’s towns and cities. Yet according to research commissioned by, diners prefer to treat their taste buds at independent establishments. 49% of Brits class independent restaurants as their favourite places to eat, while 34% said they favoured local pubs and cafés.

It’s great news for independent food retailers. But how can you ensure your business reaps the benefits?

Focus on food safety and provenance

Since horsegate, the public is much more concerned about what they’re eating and where it’s come from. It’s predicted that we will continue to see a growing consumer demand for transparent, accessible information on food safety and traceability – as well as increasing desire for information on the personal, social, economic and environmental impacts of different food choices. In short: consumers want a greater connection with the food they are eating – and they want to know it’s safe.

Provenance is key. Now’s the time to review your supplier relationships.

For more on this topic, be sure to download our free white paper: Food Fraud and the Traceability Challenge

food hygiene rating scheme

Nurture your reputation – and don’t let it slip

In the age of social media, every customer is a critic. Consumers can publish a review of your restaurant on TripAdvisor before they have even settled the bill. And reputation matters. Faced with more choice than ever, diners use online reviews to help decide where to eat.

Great service, ethical food and unflinching food safety standards will set you apart.

Happy New Year? Research suggests it will be.

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