Food service and catering: grow your business in the UK

  • fast-growing industry
  • opportunities throughout the supply chain
  • diverse catering market
88 billion GBP total worth of UK catering industry
  • UK food service and catering: at a glance

    The UK’s catering industry is worth an estimated 88 billion GBP - around 43% of total consumer spending on food and drink.

    There were 453,000 registered restaurant and catering establishments in the UK in 2014. The UK market for dining out was worth 33.5 billion GBP in 2014, according to Mintel.

    Mintel estimated the UK fast food and takeaway market to be worth 9.4 billion GBP in 2014. The top four chains – McDonalds, Yum, Subway, and Dominos together had combined UK sales of 2.9 billion GBP in 2014.

    The UK pub industry had sales worth 23 billion GBP in 2015 and is forecast to grow by 9% to 25.5 billion GBP by 2020, according to Mintel.

    Food sales are the fastest growing category in the pub market. Meals sold in pubs grew in value by 14% from 2012 to 2016 and sales of alcoholic drinks grew by 6% over the same period.

    Mintel estimated the UK contract catering sector to be worth 3.8 billion GBP in 2014 and is forecast to grow to be almost 4.2 billion GBP by 2020.

  • Next steps

    We can help you grow your business in the UK

    Whether you’ve already decided to grow your business here or you’re just starting your research, the UK government can help you make the right decision.

    Research your industry

    You should research your market to help you decide if the UK is the best place for your business. Contact our Investment Services Team to get market research and other expert help and advice.

    Want to move your business to the UK?

    You’ll need to follow several steps before moving to the UK, including applying for visas and finding the ideal location for your business. Read our UK setup guide.

    The UK government can give you free help and support every step of the way. Contact us to find out more.