The size of chain restaurant menus has reduced by 20% since 2019, according to Lumina Intelligence’s new UK Restaurant Market Report 2021/22.

Menus contained an average of 64 dishes in 2021, compared to two years previously – the steepest decline in the total eating and drinking out market.

Dish counts have been slimmed down to cope with the challenges of staff shortages, supply chain disruption, and, increasingly, rising food prices.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, new product development has been less of a priority, with a 1% decline in the number of dishes being labelled as new last year.

However, the proportion of items tagged as customisable has increased by +46% on chain restaurant menus, with more than a quarter of dishes (26%) now customisable.

Greater customisation allows operators to continue to offer personalisation and wide choice, despite running reduced menus, Lumina said.

Same-line dish inflation across spring/summer menus was running at +1.5% in 2021. This was lower than the total market average of +1.7%.

The UK restaurant market is set to recover to 94% of its 2019 value in 2022, Lumina has forecast.

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