Operators across the sector are opening a greater share of outlets in the regions, amid rising rents and increasing competition in London.

The latest regional outlet analysis from M&C Allegra Foodservice shows the swing away from the capital most prominent in casual restaurants where the share of sites outside the M25 rose from 69.1% for the year to July 2014 to 70.7% this year. The ratio for the year to July 2013 was 68%.

In fast food there has been a more gradual increase in the dominance of the regions from 83% in 2013 to 83.1% last year and now 83.4%.

Pub restaurants have the largest regional bias with 87.5% of sites located outside the M25, up marginally from 87.4% last year and 87.2% in 2013.

The report says: “As competition for properties continues to grow, London will become an increasingly difficult market for operators.

“Central London is unique from regional towns, in the way it is being targeted by international entrants. Therefore, with demand high and growing competition from international operators, M&C Allegra expects to see an increasing number of brands shifting expansion strategies towards the regions or targeting less central London locations. This will benefit a number of less exclusive pockets of London with lower rents.

“Furthermore, large regional towns including Manchester, Bristol and Brighton, which Conde Nast Traveller dubbed ‘Best City for restaurants and bars’ in 2014, will become increasingly prevalent going forward. Meanwhile, operators growing in London will require increasingly deep pockets to secure sites in prime areas.”

The full report is available to Brands and Corporates subscribers. For details on upgrading your subscription please contact Hannah Fluker at hannah.fluker@mcallegra-fs.com.