Author: Harri Jaaskelainen, 05 January 2018

Casual Dining

Happy First Week of January! It is the perfect time to take stock of the previous year and set aims and objectives for the next 12 months. Unfortunately, the UK Casual Dining market is understandably less chirpy than all of us here at FSP, as the sector continues to face difficult trading conditions - for reasons we all have heard and read about numerous times by now. The latest news is that Strada, has announced a closure of a third of its portfolio. The chain was 43 strong when Sun Capital Partners acquired it from Tragus Group in June 2014. The latest closures will reduce the number of restaurants to 14, 9 of which are in London. 


The brand’s relatively quick growth into a medium-sized portfolio and its subsequent decline indicates the brand has borne the brunt of changing perceptions and growing competition. Undoubtedly viewed as something of a ‘premium’ Italian restaurant following its first opening in 2000, the subsequent saturation of the sector has guaranteed that the brand has lost its edge and become a mainstream operator. 


Strada sits in the Family – Casual Diner segment of FSP’s MENU F&B segmentation, with those in the Family lifestage possessing the highest statistical propensity to dine at a Strada. The Casual Diner mindset looks for a reliable, relaxed F&B option, one that is likely to be, in part, defined by location or a wider experience, rather than be the experience itself. Whilst there are other operators in this highly competitive segment facing challenges of their own – such as Frankie & Benny’s which has closed over 30 units over the last 18 months – others, such as Bill’s and Nando’s continue to push for more openings on the back of strong financial results. Bill’s recent openings include at Drake Circus in Plymouth and at The Lexicon in Bracknell. Meanwhile, Nando’s, has opened stores at Southgate and Altrincham and has also continued spreading its wings internationally with openings in the Middle East and Asia


The picture of a mixed bag of performance in the Family – Casual Diner segment is reflected across the F&B spectrum – for all the talk of ‘bubbles bursting’ we have seen new store opens across the country in a variety of different formats from the likes of Franco Manca, Greggs, Drake & Morgan and Vapiano.

What is clear is that both operators and landlords need a better understanding of what are the key drivers of performance for different segments of the market and which combination of location and brand represent the strongest potential for success for the benefit of both.

If you would like to know more how FSP can help you understand which geographical locations provide the best opportunities for different F&B brands, please email me

Tags: F&B, FSP Work

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