London on the menu for international food and beverage operators
Last year marked a record year for international food and beverage operators entering the London market, with 21 international concepts opening a debut site in the capital in 2018, according to research from Savills.
And this momentum has continued into this year, with eight concepts already open and an additional 11 debut sites already in the committed pipeline.
Savills research shows that Asia-Pacific based F&B brands led the way for new openings last year, accounting for 38% of all international debut sites in the capital. This equates to four times the number of new openings from the region seen in 2017, with popular concepts including Singaporean chain restaurant Old Chang Kee and Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung both opening in Covent Garden.
European operators have considerably increased their share of openings and in fact dominate the pipeline for this year. Three European sites have already opened, equalling the total from all of 2018, with a further five planned for the coming months including Italian bakery chain, Pasticceria Marchesi, opening its first site outside Italy and Bulgarian restaurant chain, Happy Bar and Grill opening on Coventry Street in Leicester Square.
Josh Arnold, commercial research analyst at Savills, comments: “In spite of changing consumer demands creating challenges for the UK’s F&B sector, London continues to be the city of choice for international concepts looking to expand. With Asia-Pac and US based brands continuing to bolster their presence, and European operators increasing their share of new openings, it’s clear that London is appealing to brands from across the globe.”