It’s thought that while there will be a drop in dining out in the UK this year, the spend per cover is likely to increase.
Experts put this down to rising menu prices at restaurants who are battling with inflation, cost pressures and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Despite this, figures from Statista reveal that an estimated 22 million people dined out at a restaurant or pub during 2018.
But, where do UK diners’ food allegiances lie?
We’ve delved into Statista’s reports and can now reveal the top six most popular types of restaurant in the UK.
Number 1: Good, old-fashioned English pub grub
It appears that most people in the UK like nothing more than a pub meal, with pub restaurants topping the charts for 22,311 diners.
This is positive news, despite continuing concerns about the rate of pub closures in the UK. Let’s hope that Britains love for a burger and a pint will continue unabated!
Number 2: English
Granted, this could be consolidated into the above statistic, but English food’s second placing in this chart is far more interesting than that.
Of those surveyed, 12,409 ranked English as their favourite type of restaurant, and that might suggest the pub grub’s top spot in this list is the result of establishments increasingly catering to a number of dietary requirements and types of cuisine.
Number 3: Chinese
The third spot is occupied by three types of cuisine - Chinese, Indonesian and Thai, which were enjoyed by 12,106 of surveyed diners last year.
This should come as little surprise, with Chinese also winning the hearts of Brits when it comes to their favourite takeaway.
Number 4: Indian
A close contender for the number three spot was Indian restaurants, at which 12,065 respondents dined out during 2018.
Britain has had a long-running love affair with Indian cuisine, and the emergence of countless high end restaurants catering for more diverse ethnic tastes has undoubtedly helped keep this a firm nation’s favourite.
Number 5: Italian
UK diners clearly love their pasta and pizza (see the next entry for more proof of that), with 11,894 of those surveyed picking this as their favourite type of restaurant experience.
There’s plenty of Italian restaurants to choose from in virtually every city and town, and thanks to the Italians’ penchant for offering plentiful options for gluten intolerance and other allergies, all tastebuds and requirements are being catered for.
Number 6: Pizzeria
Often considered the perfect takeaway, dining out for pizzas is clearly high on the UK diner agenda.
It should come as no surprise that this is such a close second to Italian dining at 11,876 diners. After all, why stay in for pizza and risk a lukewarm delivery when you can have Italian’s finest brought directly to your table?
What to look out for in 2020
So, what can we expect for 2020 when it coms to food trends?
Given the significant numbers above, it’s safe to assume that the UK’s taste for dining out is unlikely to change considerably. It’s hard to imagine firm favourites such as pub grub, Chinese and Italian making way for anything considerably different any time soon.
Despite this, research by Deliveroo suggests there are a couple of things on the horizon in 2020 that might influence what diners get to enjoy at these types of establishment.
- The rise of street food. Street food is consumed by an estimated 2.5 billion people each day worldwide. The most popular cuisines? Indian, Thai and Greek, according to Deliveroo. If you’ve spent any amount of time in London recently, you’ll have witnessed this for yourself.
- Resurgence of pasta. It’s no wonder Italian dining made the top five in 2018, but Deliveroo’s research suggests fresh pasta could be on the cusp of a resurgence in 2020. Searches for fresh pasta on their delivery service have risen by more than half in the last three months, suggesting UK diners really do want that authentic Italian experience.
Both trends above are likely to make their way into restaurants over the coming months, and, neatly, they can probably be attributed to most of the top cuisines in our list.
We’ll be keeping our eye on the most popular restaurants in 2019 as soon as the stats are released, so be sure to check back for our full rundown soon.