Almost a third of visits to casual dining restaurants over the past year have been prompted by promotions, according to MCA data.

The UK Eating Out Market Report 2018 shows that 31.5% of visits to branded restaurants in Q1 2018 involved a deal, compared to 24% in the same period the previous year.

Across the eating out market as a whole, the percentage of visits prompted by promotions rose from 13% to 13.6% year-on-year. The channel with the lowest take-up of offers was sandwich retailers, although even here the percentage was up from 4.6% to 7.1% over the year.

Email remains the most popular form for promotion followed by activity on site and paper deals.

The report also includes consumer insight showing that ‘good value’ as a reason for choosing a venue has increased 1.4% points over the past year – with 26.7% of venues chosen for this reason. However, food quality/taste remains the top need.

The headline findings of the report show the eating out sector is set to grow by 1.5% in 2018 – down from 1.7% last year – to £89.4bn, from 327,000 outlets.

The rate is the slowest for five years but MCA still expects the sector to increase in value by c£5bn in the next three years.

MCA’s 150-page UK Eating Out Market Report gives a comprehensive overview of the full breadth of the sector, including detailed analysis of the competitive landscape and consumer behaviour as well as forecasts of the future outlook.

To find out more or to order a copy of the report, please contact