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Ethnic Restaurants and Takeaways - UK - February 2016

“Authenticity is a core attribute when it comes to diner expectations of ethnic restaurants but customisation and demonstrable expertise are also key differentiators which specialist operators must capitalise on to fend off competition form generalists.”
– Richard Ford, Senior Food Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Ethnic restaurants must promote authenticity to fend off competition from non-specialists 
  • Using technology to engage core consumers
  • Growing use of Mexican restaurants presents opportunities

The ethnic restaurants and takeaways market remains largely fragmented, although the continued expansion of some ethnic restaurant chains should begin to change this.

Operators face ongoing pressure from non-specialists bringing ethnic dishes to their menus. Specialist operators are, however, seeing investment via crowdfunding and private equity, which should bolster the funds they have available for marketing and store expansion. This is important in the face of rising real incomes which could see some diners switch to competing foodservice sectors.

Authenticity remains a key driver for ethnic restaurant/takeaway users. As such, demonstrating expertise in a cuisine and offering customisation offer key ways to differentiate. However, the importance of authenticity represents a real challenge to ethnic restaurant chains against independent operators.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

      • Covered in this report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Rising real incomes bolster the market
              • Figure 1: UK ethnic restaurants and takeaways, market size and forecast, 2010-20
            • Restaurants
              • Takeaways
                • National Living Wage will increase wage costs
                  • Other foodservice operators pose a threat to ethnic restaurants
                    • Stalled growth in the core 16-34 user group may dampen market growth
                      • Companies and brands
                        • A fragmented market
                          • Caribbean restaurant market continues to see new activity
                            • Ethnic restaurant brands use crowdfunding to raise finance
                              • Acquisitions and funding set to fuel expansion
                                • Japanese-style restaurants enhance their breakfast menus
                                  • Operators use cultural events to drive interest
                                    • The consumer
                                      • Majority of Brits use ethnic restaurants
                                        • Figure 2: Frequency of ordering an ethnic takeaway/home delivery, February 2012, November 2012 and October 2015
                                        • Figure 3: Frequency of visiting an ethnic restaurant, February 2012, November 2012 and October 2015
                                      • Chinese remains most popular ethnic cuisine type
                                        • Figure 4: Use of and interest in ethnic restaurants/takeaways, by cuisine, October 2015
                                      • Strong demand for authenticity
                                        • Figure 5: Menu enticements at ethnic restaurants/takeaways, October 2015
                                      • 78% of diners see the need for expert chefs in ethnic restaurants
                                        • Figure 6: Attitudes towards ethnic restaurants/takeaways, October 2015
                                      • Ethnic chain restaurants lag behind independents on perceptions of freshness and authenticity
                                        • Figure 7: Correspondence map of qualities associated with ethnic food, by venue type, October 2015
                                      • What we think
                                      • Issues and Insights

                                        • Ethnic restaurants must promote authenticity to fend off competition from non-specialists
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Using technology to engage core consumers
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                    • Growing use of Mexican restaurants presents opportunities
                                                      • The facts
                                                        • The implications
                                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                          • Rising real incomes bolster the market
                                                            • Restaurants
                                                              • Takeaways
                                                                • Introduction of National Living Wage will increase wage costs
                                                                  • Other foodservice operators pose a threat to ethnic restaurants
                                                                    • Stalled growth in the core 16-34 users may affect market going forward
                                                                    • Segment Performance, Market Size and Forecast

                                                                      • Rising real incomes bolster the market
                                                                          • Figure 8: UK ethnic restaurants and takeaways, market size and forecast, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 9: UK ethnic restaurants and takeaways, market size and forecast, 2010-20
                                                                        • Restaurants
                                                                            • Figure 10: UK ethnic restaurants, market size and forecast, 2010-20
                                                                            • Figure 11: UK ethnic restaurants, market size and forecast, 2010-20
                                                                          • Takeaways
                                                                            • Figure 12: UK ethnic takeaways, market size and forecast, 2010-20
                                                                            • Figure 13: UK ethnic takeaways, market size and forecast, 2010-20
                                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                                          • Introduction of National Living Wage will increase wage costs
                                                                            • Dining out is still struggling to win share in consumer spend
                                                                              • Figure 14: Proportion of people who spend extra money on dining out, November 2009-October 2015
                                                                            • Other foodservice operators pose a threat to ethnic restaurants
                                                                              • Stalled growth in the core 16-34 users may affect market going forward
                                                                                • Figure 15: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-15 and 2015-20
                                                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                              • A fragmented market
                                                                                • Indian restaurants largely independent; Japanese chains gain scale
                                                                                  • Caribbean restaurant market continues to see new activity
                                                                                    • Ethnic restaurant brands use crowdfunding to raise finance
                                                                                      • Acquisitions and funding set to fuel expansion
                                                                                        • Wagamama revamps takeaway service
                                                                                          • Cuban sandwiches gain visibility in 2014/15
                                                                                            • Japanese-style restaurants enhance their breakfast menus
                                                                                              • Operators use cultural events to drive interest
                                                                                              • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                • Wagamama makes its takeaway packaging more appealing
                                                                                                  • Cuban sandwiches see increased visibility in 2014/15
                                                                                                    • Operators use menus to mark cultural events
                                                                                                      • ‘Flat’ food
                                                                                                        • Japanese-style restaurants enhance their breakfast menus
                                                                                                        • Market Share

                                                                                                          • A fragmented market
                                                                                                            • Ethnic restaurant brands use crowdfunding to raise finance
                                                                                                              • Indian
                                                                                                                • Indian restaurants: Ubiquitous, but largely independent
                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Selected Indian restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015-16
                                                                                                                • Japanese and other Asian cuisines
                                                                                                                  • Controlling stake in YO! Sushi sold to Mayfair Equity Partners
                                                                                                                    • Itsu secures £40m of finance for expansion
                                                                                                                      • Waitrose enters the sushi market
                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Selected Japanese restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015-16
                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Selected Chinese restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015-16
                                                                                                                      • Giggling Squid attracts £6.4 million investment
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Selected other Asian restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015-16
                                                                                                                      • South American
                                                                                                                        • Las Iguanas restaurant chain is sold to Casual Dining Group
                                                                                                                          • Barburrito acquires Mexican Kitchen
                                                                                                                            • Caribbean restaurant market continues to see new activity
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Selected South American restaurant/takeaway chains, by outlet numbers, 2010-12 and 2015-16
                                                                                                                            • Middle Eastern sees mixed support
                                                                                                                            • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                              • Wagamama launches biggest ever campaign to promote revamped takeaway
                                                                                                                                • YO! Sushi launches YOLO fusion food campaign…
                                                                                                                                  • …and partners with console games developer Playrise Digital
                                                                                                                                    • Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo provides a focus for promotions/competitions
                                                                                                                                      • Pho runs awareness campaign ahead of Manchester launch
                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                        • Majority of Brits use ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                          • Chinese remains most popular ethnic cuisine type
                                                                                                                                            • Strong demand for authenticity
                                                                                                                                              • 78% of users see the need for expert chefs in ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                • 65% of users want customisation
                                                                                                                                                  • Chains lag behind independents on perceptions of freshness and authenticity
                                                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Visiting Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                    • A majority of Brits use ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Frequency of ordering an ethnic takeaway/home delivery, February 2012, November 2012 and October 2015
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Frequency of visiting an ethnic restaurant, February 2012, November 2012 and October 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • 16-34s are the most frequent ethnic restaurant diners
                                                                                                                                                    • Usage of and Interest in Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways by Cuisine

                                                                                                                                                      • Chinese remains the most popular type of ethnic restaurant
                                                                                                                                                        • Mexican cuisine sees a surge in usage
                                                                                                                                                          • Rio 2016 Olympics should boost interest in South American cuisine
                                                                                                                                                            • Fusions/mash-ups can help boost knowledge of African cuisine
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Use of and interest in ethnic restaurants/takeaways, by cuisine, December 2014 and October 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • A third of users eat at only one or two types of ethnic restaurant
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Repertoire of ethnic restaurants used, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Menu Enticements at Ethnic Restaurants/Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                            • Strong demand for authenticity
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Menu enticements at ethnic restaurants/takeaways, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • Ethnic versions of traditional dishes interest one in five users
                                                                                                                                                              • Two in five diners are interested in low-fat/carb/salt dishes
                                                                                                                                                                • Low-carb
                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Ethnic Restaurants and Takeaways

                                                                                                                                                                  • 78% of users see the need for expert chefs in ethnic restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 26: Attitudes towards ethnic restaurants/takeaways, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                                  • 65% of users want customisation
                                                                                                                                                                    • 37% of users would order via a tablet/mobile app
                                                                                                                                                                      • Drinks pairing could give operators an edge over competitors
                                                                                                                                                                      • Qualities Associated with Ethnic Food, by Venue Type

                                                                                                                                                                        • Ethnic chain restaurants lag behind independents on freshness and authenticity
                                                                                                                                                                          • Authenticity
                                                                                                                                                                            • Perception of freshness
                                                                                                                                                                              • Ethnic chains and independents fall down on quick service
                                                                                                                                                                                • Diners need convincing over ‘street food’
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Qualities associated with ethnic food, by venue type, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Correspondence map of qualities associated with ethnic food, by venue type, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Best- and worst-case forecast
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Best- and worst-case forecasts for UK ethnic restaurants and takeaways market, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Best- and worst-case forecasts for UK ethnic restaurants market, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Best- and worst-case forecasts for UK ethnic takeaways market, 2015-20

                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                        To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Ethnic Restaurants and Takeaways - UK - February 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                        £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)