Restaurants numbers down in rural B&Bs and guesthouses

The number of restaurants in rural licenced guesthouses in the UK fell by 5.1% in the year to September according to figures published today.

Restaurant closures in the rural B&B sector outstrip the net closure rate of 2% in the year to September reported in the new edition of the Market Growth Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners.

However, the report says there are opportunities outside London for ambitious and innovative hospitality businesses. “As ever, for operators to succeed, they need to show a deep understanding of their local communities and what will work for their customer base. Those who fail to meet these expectations will inevitably fall by the wayside. But for businesses in the sector looking to grow, there remain a multitude of options across both equity and debt and investors continue to see attractive opportunities.”

CGA vice president Peter Martin said: “The bulk of closures are from independents, while managed groups remain in growth—and this trend is welcome news for some of them, since it eases over-capacity and frees up more property. But these figures are a reminder that all restaurant brands need a well defined and brilliantly executed offer if they are to succeed in a survival of the fittest in 2019.”

The report on UK restaurants, pubs and bars found:

  • The pace of closures over the year to September 2018 was higher in rural areas (3.6%) than on high streets (2.6%)
  • Some city centres continue to grow their numbers of restaurants, pubs and bars—including Birmingham, which added 25 in the year to September.
  • The north of England has seen a 2.8% fall in licensed premises in the last year—significantly lower than the decline of 4.0% in the south