Following today’s news (June 10th) that The Restaurant Group will shut 125 outlets, largely consisting of Frankie & Benny’s stores;
Carmen Bryan, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“COVID-19 is reshaping the UK foodservice industry as we know it. While this represents significant losses for operators such as The Restaurant Group in the long-term, it will open spaces for new players to bring innovative and novel ideas to the UK’s high street.
“Even before the pandemic hit, many consumers were tiring of the outdated fast-casual format. Interestingly, in a survey* by GlobalData, UK respondents highlighted that their top priorities for products were their uniqueness and enjoyability, as opposed to the ‘risk-free’ and ‘affordable’ priorities highlighted globally.
“Currently, many independents and chains alike are looking for creative ways to reshuffle their operations in order to be ready to reopen by June 22nd, and while many of these will be temporary measures, it does present the industry with the opportunity to tap into emerging trends that the previous decade popularised.
“Cross-channel blurring and increased automation in outlets, for one, could have a place in a pre-COVID world as consumers look for contactless and flexible services that suit their needs. That said, these are long-term ambitions for many, and the immediate future, the industry will be faced with further challenges.”
* GlobalData’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker Survey – Week 10 (June 3rd) – UK – often/always agree responses combined