The UKs largest 100 restaurant chains grew their sales by 6% during 2014 to £18.6 billion, according to a new report from Technomic.
The ‘Chain Restaurant Report’, however shows that the rate of growth has slowed from 6.4% during 2013. Performance was strongest among coffee chains, who grew sales by 11.6% during the year, making it the second biggest market segment after burger chains. Bar & Grill chains grew sales by 13.5%, while pub sales grew 5%.
The Whitbread-owned Costa coffee chain experienced the largest growth across UK restaurant chains, with a sales increase of £161 million. It also added 176 new units during the year. JD Wetherspoon recorded the second highest growth with a sales increase of £109 million.
Technomic executive vice president, Darren Tristano said: 'Burger concepts saw significant growth in 2014, with sales increasing 37.4% at full-service restaurants and 5.8% at fast-casual. Many of these concepts stand out for their quality ingredients and menu innovation. The versatility of burgers is driving the growth, from simple, premium options to over-the-top indulgences.
'Menus have shrunk 2.6% in a year-over-year comparison. Smaller menus can illustrate quality over quantity. Restaurants have been streamlining menus to only a few, customisable options, particularly in the growing fast-casual segment, where operators are focusing on the quality of the ingredients they use.'