The top 10 branded restaurants, by turnover, are expected to achieve sales of £3bn in 2022 – exceeding turnover levels seen in 2019, according to Lumina Intelligence’s new UK Restaurant Market Report 2021/22.

The overall market is expected to recover to 94% of its 2019 value in 2022 to £17.8bn, compared to its pre-pandemic value of £18.9bn in 2019 – an increase in value of 59% on last year, with branded restaurants expected to contribute £1.5bn of that growth, equivalent to a +37.7% increase in revenue.

Wagamama is predicted to see the strongest growth. Having recovered to 80.6% of its 2019 turnover level last year, it is estimated to reach 118% of 2019 levels in 2022. Nando’s and PizzaExpress are estimated to see the second and third strongest recovery, respectively.

Unrestricted trading will be the main market driver in 2022, so recovery would be contingent on no further trading restrictions being brought in, said Lumina, however overall outlet numbers are due to continue their decline – by -2.1% this year, which will act as a drag on recovery.

By contrast leading branded restaurants are forecast to add a net +56 sites this year – a 1.5% increase. Operators with between 10-25 sites are the ones leading the growth in the branded segment, the report has found, with the likes Rosa’s Thai and The Ivy Collection adding five sites and Megan’s adding four.

“More casual-led operators, such as Nandos and Wagamama were able to react quickly to the pandemic and pivot towards delivery. Despite restrictions easing, sustained demand for delivery is expected to continue to fuel recovery with additional delivery revenue alongside dine-in trade,” said Katie Prowse, senior insight manager, Lumina Intelligence.

”Other operators in the top 10, such as The Ivy Grills & Brasseries and Miller & Carter, are expected to tap into occasion-led dining, as consumers look to treat themselves on special occasions following two years of restrictions.”

To find out more about the full UK Restaurant Market Report 2021/22 please click here.