Number Crunch! How many restaurants opened in London in 2020?

Number Crunch! How many restaurants opened in London in 2020?

Data is the sword of the 21st century, those who wield it well, the Samurai - Jonathan Rosenberg (former Senior Vice President of Google)

Statistics can tell you a lot about the state of a particular sector, and here at Crowbond, we've been taking a look at the restaurant and food service industry over the past year. What we've discovered has been very interesting!

Here are some of our findings.

How many restaurants opened in London in 2020?

Even with lockdown, several restaurants opened across London in 2020.

Here's a breakdown of openings month-by-month:

  • January 2020: 19 restaurant openings
  • February 2020: 18 restaurant openings
  • March 2020: 15 restaurant openings
  • April 2020: 0 restaurant openings
  • May 2020: 0 restaurant openings
  • June 2020: 0 restaurant openings
  • July 2020: 13 restaurant openings
  • August 2020: 10 restaurant openings
  • September 2020: 19 restaurant openings
  • October 2020: 12 restaurant openings
  • November 2020: 8 restaurant openings
  • December 2020: 21 restaurant openings

A grand total of 135 restaurants opened across the capital in 2020.

Even though there was a lull between April and June, restaurant openings were comparable to the previous year. For example, 20 restaurants opened in December 2019, meaning there was a small increase this year!

How many restaurants opened across the whole UK in 2020?

Outside of London, there was a healthy number of restaurant openings too.

In 2020 6,267 restaurants and cafes opened across the country – an average of 522 a month.

How many restaurants closed because of coronavirus in London in 2020?

2020 has been a challenging time for the restaurant industry, with many restaurants, bars, diners and cafes closing their doors permanently.

Both national chains and small independents have felt the financial pressures of the pandemic. Some of the national chains that were affected include Pizza Express, Byron Burger, Bistrot Pierre and Filmore & Union.

A total of 38 independent London restaurants closed their doors in 2020, attributing their closure to COVID-19 and the monetary issues it brought. However, many restaurants have said that it is 'goodbye for now' rather than 'farewell'. These restaurants are optimistic that they will return in the future in another shape or form.

How many restaurants closed across the whole UK in 2020?

Almost 10,000 licensed premises – restaurants, pubs and cafes – closed in 2020 across the UK last year.

This was a 175% increase compared to 2019.

Was there a decline in revenue in the restaurant industry in 2020?

With restaurants forced to reduce their service offering and temporarily close their doors, you'd expect a decline in revenue in 2020, and you would be right. Revenue fell by about 33% in the hospitality industry last year.

There will be a long, hard struggle ahead, but it is predicted that the industry will make a full recovery by 2024.

What was the most popular dining brand in 2020?

2020 was the year that takeaway food came to prominence.

Food delivery companies like Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats saw a rise in profits and many venues made the switch from restaurant service to deliveries.

The most popular food brand in 2020 was Greggs. Even though the bakery chain reported a £15 million loss, many people still flocked to stores to buy sandwiches, cakes and vegan products.

One of Gregg's key product launches was the vegan steak bake which appeared on shelves in January 2020 – with the company planning to add more plant-based food to its repertoire in the future.

Dominos, Burger King and McDonald's were also popular choices with the public.

How many restaurants registered for 'Eat Out to Help Out'?

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was launched by the Government last summer to help restaurants recover from lockdown, offering customers 50% off their bill.

Diners claimed over 100 million meals in August, with restaurants making 130,000 claims worth £522 million.

Nearly 85,000 restaurants across the country signed up, with restaurant reservations increasing by 53% compared to the previous year.

The Government has not confirmed or denied if another Eat Out to Help Out initiative will make an appearance in 2021.

Are customers comfortable eating out?

Generally, customers are comfortable eating out in their favourite restaurants, with social distancing and hygiene precautions helping to make them feel safe.

In October 2020, 43% of customers said they were very comfortable or comfortable eating out, with 36% saying they were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable.

With the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, confidence should increase even further in 2021.

Are people ordering more takeaways in lockdown?

With table service not an option for the most part of 2020, many people have been making a move to ordering delivery from their favourite restaurant.

Before lockdown, one in four people would order takeaway once or twice a month. People between the ages of 18 to 24 are more likely to pick up the phone and place an order.

In lockdown, one in four people have said they have been ordering more takeaways, with the number of people ordering once or twice a month increasing by 41%.

How much will people spend on eating out in 2021?

The general public believe that they will spend more on eating out after lockdown.

33% of people will spend more money on meals out, with 49% claiming they will spend the same amount as they did before the pandemic.

Interestingly, some people will continue to spend more on takeaway, with 14% saying they will increase their takeaway food budget later this year when lockdown eases.

In conclusion

2020 was a challenging time for the restaurant industry. Although there were closures, many restaurants, pubs and cafes opened – and the delivery and takeaway industry came into its own.

With lockdown set to be relaxed in March and restaurants hopefully allowed to open up once more, we believe that customers will be making a welcome return to their favourite eateries.

We'll be looking at the statistics for 2021 with interest!


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.