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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 5th May 2015 - Horizons – now more than 500 emerging foodservice brands in the UK
Horizons – now more than 500 emerging foodservice brands in the UK: Pret A Manger is the brand most admired by the UK’s foodservice entrepreneurs, who praise the high street sandwich giant for its consistency and high standards. In Horizons’ latest Ones to Watch survey, which has found a record number of more than 500 fledgling chains in the UK foodservice market, company founders and CEOs were asked which foodservice operators they most admired. Pret, Nando’s and Itsu were all highlighted as admired brands, as well as Starbucks and Innocent Smoothie for the fact they appeal to a wide audience. The survey found the majority of brand owners are upbeat about future trading, with over half (54%) planning to open more than five outlets in the next 12 months, a significant increase on last year’s response (35%). Shopping centres top the target locations for expansion (mentioned by 86% in March 2015, compared with 47% in October 2014), with out-of-town retail parks second (up from 18% to 63%) and transport hubs third (up from 24% to 83%).Many respondents said they are targeting London for expansion – 92% in March 2015, compared with 82% in October 2014 - while 89% are targeting other town centres and high streets. Property availability remains the biggest challenge to overcome, mentioned by 38% of the respondents, along with the cost of property (38%), staffing costs (nearly 18%) and food costs (6%). In this latest Ones to Watch survey [April 2015] the fastest growing brand over the past three years in percentage terms is Birmingham-based Indian burrito brand Wrapchic, which since its launch in 2012 with a single unit, now has an estate of ten outlets, including one in central London. It aims to double its size this year. Gourmet burger brand Five Guys has the highest number of new outlets in the survey, opening 23 new sites since it first entered the UK in Summer 2013. Three further sites have opened since Ones to Watch was collated, with at least three more about to open. The company aims to eventually operate 175-200 UK sites. Second biggest growth player in terms of number of new sites over the past three years is franchised noodle bar brand Chozen Noodle, which now has 15 outlets, up from four in 2013. The company has successfully targeted motorway service areas, railway stations and shopping centre locations. Third in terms of new site openings is dessert cafe operator Creams Café, which has grown from three outlets in 2012 to 17 in 2015 mostly through franchising. The company aims to have 40 sites by the end of this year and is targeting Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Liverpool and London. The latest Ones to Watch includes 141 new brands, a rise on the 132 new brands in October 2014. The survey also highlights Bubbling Under brands, those which currently have fewer than five outlets but have the potential and ambition to expand. Some 409 brands are identified in this category in April 2015, compared with 235 in April 2014.Top trends in the type of Ones to Watch outlets are Italian casual dining, healthy quick service and Mexican burrito brands. The main areas of growth for smaller concepts are coffee shops and steakhouse casual dining. Said Horizons’ foodservice analyst Nicola Knight: “The fact these small brands have stepped up their expansion plans is great news for the UK’s hospitality sector – it shakes up the market by bringing new concepts to the public and challenges existing operators. But we have to ask whether the UK market can take such high levels of expansion in the long term.” To qualify for inclusion in Ones To Watch a restaurant or quick service concept must have between five and 25 outlets and a growth in outlet numbers of at least 20% over the past three years combined. Brands with fewer than five sites, but the potential to expand rapidly are listed in the survey as Bubbling Under brands. All statistics correct at the time the survey was collated.

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