Lumina’s latest ODI (Operator Data Index) analysis includes full year 2021 outlet growth forecasts for both emerging and established brands within important market segments. It also discusses some of the key market trends that are currently helping brands expand. Trends include creating atmosphere, focusing on online and diversification of offer.


While the total eating out market is expected to see overall outlet decline of -0.1% in 2021, many brands are taking the opportunity to expand their estate and reflect latest consumer trends.

Within pubs and bars, there is currently an emphasis on creating a unique atmosphere or point of differentiation.

Brands such as BrewDog, Lounges’ and The Botanist aim to provide consumers with a differentiated, immersive proposition that enhances the consumer experience. This is achieved in different ways by focusing, for example, on sustainability, live music, curated menus, or beer education.

In terms of outlet growth Cookhouse + Pub is expected to lead in terms of percentage growth, with forecast outlet growth of 14% by the end of 2021. Growth is forecast to be boosted by staycation summer trading and high demand in tourist areas. London Cocktail Club is also expanding its sites with an offering targeted at millennial consumers, as is Lounges and The Botanist.

Mowgli is expected to lead percentage growth among branded restaurants. Mowgli’s focus on healthier dishes has seen the brand grow by appealing to consumers seeking lighter options. Bar + Block is expected to grow by a quarter year on year with its parent company Whitbread set to capitalise on staycations in summer 2021.

Another emerging restaurant brand is Megan’s, forecast to have 12 sites by the end of 2021. Megan’s provides customers with healthy upscale Mediterranean options and all day brunch in earthy, bright, and dog-friendly locations.

Successful branded restaurants are capitalising not only on dine-in experiences, but delivery and at-home meal kits – a trend exemplified by Pizza Pilgrims and Rosa’s Thai. Both are also forecast to achieve double digit percentage outlet growth during 2021.

Within fast food, German Donor Kebab and Five Guys are forecast to expand the number of outlets by 31% and 22% respectively. Both brands have shown agility during the pandemic in being able to reach consumers in new ways. Five Guys’ use of technology to drive sales helped to ensure survival during the pandemic, allowing for greater levels of throughput, increased efficiency and wider consumer catchment.

Roosters Piri Piri and Taco Bell are also expected to achieve double digit percentage growth in stores during 2021. Taco Bell is expected to reach 60 stores and in late 2020 opened a digital-only store in Wembley.

Within cafés and sandwich operators, premium cafés such as Triple Two Coffee, Esquires and Black Sheep Coffee are expected to lead growth in 2021. These operators have a greater focus on to-go trading, as well as a diversification of products and services such as loyalty and promotion schemes. Changing working patterns have also boosted suburban location and online trade.

Black Sheep Coffee, which is forecast to grow its outlets by 11% this aims to offer a more unique experience to consumers by offering coffee as well as cocktails in some of its locations. Esquires which has around 50 stores, aims for a quirky, indie atmosphere.

  • More details on Lumina’s report are available here