Growth in the UK eating out market will slow to 1.7% in 2017 to a total value of £87.9bn, MCA analysis predicts.

The more subdued growth outlook compares to 2% in 2016 and 2.8% in 2015, according to MCA’s Eating Out Market Data report 2017. 

Growth in 2017 will be driven by increasing spend and inflation, rather than outlet expansion which is expected to be sluggish, the research reveals.

Presented to clients at M By Montcalm Shoreditch, the analysis highlighted well documented headwinds buffeting the sector.

Peter Linden, MCA market analysis manager, said: “The market has slowed down this year, this subdued growth coming as the industry faces multiple headwinds.

“If we think back to the inflation rate of 2.7%, what this effectively means is negative volume growth. This growth is very much driven by average spend increasing and inflation.

“We’re still a far way off recessionary negative rates, when the market contracted.

“It is positive growth, subdued growth, but it is a market facing multiple headwinds.”

Pubs and branded restaurants are driving growth, with convenience stores the third biggest channel as food to go continues to grow.

The research also found the fast growing delivery channel is decreasing average spend per head on eating out.