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Ireland Full Service Restaurants Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Full Service Restaurants market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Issues covered in this Report

This Report examines the full-service restaurant market in Ireland NI (Northern Ireland) and RoI (Republic of Ireland). It evaluates the main drivers and trends affecting the market and influencing consumer behaviour.

Additionally, the Report draws on consumer research and examines the frequency of eating out and types of restaurants consumers have eaten in. Moreover, it investigates factors that consumers perceive as important when choosing a place to eat in, examines consumers’ behaviours and attitudes towards dining out as well as restaurants.

Definition

This Report covers consumers’ attitudes and behaviours surrounding full-service restaurants only, and excludes dining in fast food outlets, cafés, pubs and other casual dining options.

For the purpose of this Report Mintel has used the following definition:

  • Full-service restaurant has been identified as a food establishment with a wide range of food and drink items on the menu while meals are paid for after they are eaten. Full-service restaurants offer table service with orders being taken and brought to customers by waiting staff. The food is consumed primarily on premises, however the popularity of such restaurants offering takeout food is growing given the growth of meal delivery services, and consumer demand for high quality, convenient meals that can be eaten in the comfort of their own home.

What you need to know

The research shows that some 44% of NI and 50% of RoI consumers eat out at least once a month or more often with Irish men dining out more frequently than women. Italian-style restaurants were found to be the most popular choice amongst Irish consumers, although restaurants serving ethnic and Irish/British style cuisine also recorded a high number of visits.

Irish consumers tend to order mostly from a set menu and visit restaurants for early bird specials, thus highlighting the importance of price. Furthermore, they perceive eating out as a good way of enjoying food that normally is not cooked at home, show their support towards restaurants donating leftovers, and note that a wider variety of portion sizes should be available.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Joanna Kempiak , a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The full-service restaurant sector in Ireland is growing as consumers are eating out on a regular basis given their busy lifestyles and the demand for convenience. Development and innovation in the restaurant industry is driven by consumers’ search for healthy, vegan and locally sourced food, as well the increasing popularity and importance of digital/social media and advances in technology. Nonetheless, the sector is facing a problem of chef shortages which is likely to become a bigger issue and result in a negative impact on the hospitality industry post-Brexit. Margie Nanninga
Foodservice Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Estimated value of consumer spending for the full-service restaurant market, RoI and NI, 2013-18
            • Forecast
              • Figure 2: Indexed estimated value of consumer spending for the full-service restaurant market, RoI and NI, 2013-23
            • Market factors
              • Chef crisis and its impact on the restaurant industry
                • Growing demand for healthy food and vegan/vegetarian, free-from dishes
                  • Food provenance continues to gain popularity
                    • Technology a driver for consumer engagement
                      • Digital media and social networks transforming restaurant industry
                        • Companies, brands and innovations
                          • The consumer
                            • Italian-style eateries most popular amongst Irish consumers
                              • Figure 3: Types of restaurant consumers have eaten in within the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                            • Majority visit a restaurant once every 1-3 months
                              • Figure 4: Frequency of visiting a restaurant (to eat in only), NI and RoI, March 2018
                            • Convenient locations the top influence on restaurants for everyday meals
                              • Figure 5: Factors influencing the choice of a foodservice establishment for everyday meals, NI and RoI, March 2018
                            • Customer service important for special occasions
                              • Figure 6: Factors influencing the choice of a foodservice establishment for special occasions, NI and RoI, March 2018
                            • Set menus appealing to Irish consumers
                              • Figure 7: Agreement with statements related to consumer behaviours when eating out, NI and RoI, March 2018
                            • Dining out perceived as an opportunity to enjoy food not typically prepared and consumed at home
                              • Figure 8: Agreement with statements related to attitudes towards full-service restaurants, NI and RoI, March 2018
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Irish consumer spending across full-service restaurants on the rise
                              • The demand for chefs outstrips supply posing a challenge for Irish restaurants
                                • Healthy foods increasingly important to consumers
                                  • Local food and drink products appealing to consumers
                                    • Demand for convenience and personalisation driving technological advances
                                      • Social and digital media enhancing consumer engagement
                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Popularity of full-service restaurants on the rise
                                            • Figure 9: Estimated value of consumer spending for the full-service restaurant market, IoI, RoI and NI, 2013-23
                                          • Full-service restaurants account for a third of all foodservice spending
                                            • Figure 10: Commercial channel – Share of consumer spend, NI and RoI, 2017
                                        • Market Drivers

                                          • The chef shortage in UK and Ireland a threat to hospitality industry
                                            • Vegan options in demand
                                              • Figure 11: Consumers who adhere to a specific diet type, NI and RoI, June 2018
                                            • Avoiding meat to improve health
                                              • Figure 12: Agreement with the statement ‘I am eating more fruit and vegetables, and less meat compared to 12 months ago’, NI and RoI, November 2015 and November 2017
                                              • Figure 13: Factors that consumers find to be most important when buying/eating healthy foods, NI and RoI, August 2016
                                              • Figure 14: Attitudes towards statement ‘Restaurants should have different potion sizes available (eg smaller portions for health-conscious diners)’, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                            • Gluten/dairy free options appealing to Irish consumers
                                              • Figure 15: Agreement with the statement ‘Restaurants should provide more gluten/dairy free options on their menus’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                            • Consumers seek locally produced and sourced foods
                                                • Figure 16: Agreement with the statement ‘Restaurants should have a rating on their use of locally sourced ingredients’, by socio-economic group, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                              • Technology improving consumers experience
                                                • Figure 17: Ownership of or access to mobile technology devices, NI and RoI, 2015, 2017 and 2018
                                                • Figure 18: Agreement with the statement ‘Being able to pre-order before arriving at a restaurant is useful’, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                              • Automation and technology can improve in-restaurant experience
                                                • Social media and their role in life of consumers and business
                                                  • Figure 19: Types of social networks that consumers log on to regularly (ie log on at least once per week), NI and RoI, March 2018
                                              • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                • Irish fine dining restaurants placing themselves at the heart of the locavore movement
                                                  • Number of Michelin starred restaurants at an all-time high in Ireland
                                                    • New technology leading changes in restaurant industry in neighbouring markets
                                                      • Street food influence could result in new conglomerated premises
                                                      • Who’s Innovating?

                                                        • Wagamama launch the Wagamamago payment app
                                                          • Sustainability, traceability and local food is important to Irish consumers and restaurants
                                                            • Meal delivery apps looking to drive growth through collaborative investment funds
                                                              • Food Halls gaining traction and are set to be the next eating out of home trend
                                                                • Software developer Yumpingo trying to improve feedback dish-by-dish
                                                                • Companies and Brands

                                                                    • Chapter One
                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                          • The Counter
                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                • Trocadero
                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                      • Deane’s Restaurant Group
                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                                            • Zizzi
                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                  • Recent developments
                                                                                                    • F.X. Buckley
                                                                                                      • Key facts
                                                                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                                                                          • Aniar
                                                                                                            • Key facts
                                                                                                              • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                • Pizza Express/Milano
                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                                        • Mourne Seafood Bar
                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                              • Greenes
                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                      • Irish consumers prefer Italian-style eateries
                                                                                                                                        • Convenient locations more important for everyday meals
                                                                                                                                          • Eating out enables Irish consumers to try new food
                                                                                                                                          • Types of Restaurants Used

                                                                                                                                              • Italian-style restaurants most appealing to Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 20: Types of restaurant consumers have eaten in within the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Millennials and singles favour Italian-style restaurants
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Consumers who have eaten in an Italian-style restaurant within the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Consumers who have eaten in an Italian-style restaurant within the last three months, by marital status, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Hotel restaurants appealing mostly to Irish Baby Boomers
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Consumers who have eaten in a hotel restaurant/bistro within the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Consumers who have eaten in a hotel restaurant/bistro within the last three months, by daily internet usage, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Burger and chicken restaurants preferred by consumers with young children
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Consumers who have eaten in a chicken/burger restaurant within the last three months, by presence of children in household, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Younger consumers opt for ethnic and American-style restaurants
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Consumers who have eaten in ethnic and American-style restaurants within the last three months, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Men and ABC1s eat out in steak houses and Irish/British restaurants
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Consumers who have eaten in steak houses and Irish/British restaurants within the last three months, by gender and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of Visiting a Restaurant

                                                                                                                                                • Most Irish consumers eat out more than once a month
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Frequency of visiting a restaurant (to eat in only), NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Irish men more likely to eat out in restaurants
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Frequency of visiting a restaurant (to eat in only), by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Consumers who dine out frequently spend more time online
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Frequency of visiting a restaurant (to eat in only), by daily internet usage, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Factors Influencing Choice of Foodservice Establishment

                                                                                                                                                  • Consumers looking for convenient locations for everyday meals
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Factors influencing the choice of a foodservice establishment for everyday meals, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Special offers important to Irish women
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Consumers who stated that special offers influence their choice of foodservice establishment for everyday meals, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Family friendly restaurants appeal to parents
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Consumers who stated that ‘family friendly’ influences their choice of foodservice establishment for everyday meals, by presence of children in the household, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Customer service influences restaurant choice for special occasions
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Factors influencing the choice of foodservice establishment for special occasions, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Rural consumers looking for restaurants with locally sourced produce
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Consumers who stated that ‘locally sourced ingredients/food’ influences their choice of foodservice establishment for special occasions, by location, NI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Consumers who stated that ‘locally sourced ingredients/food’ influences their choice of foodservice establishment for special occasions, by location, RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Space to hang out in appeals to single consumers
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Consumers who stated that ‘space to hang out after meal’ influences their choice of foodservice establishment for special occasions, by marital status, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Consumer Behaviours When Eating Out

                                                                                                                                                    • Ordering from set menus popular amongst Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Agreement with statements related to consumer behaviours when eating out, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Older generations and affluent consumers more likely to go a la carte
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Agreement with statement ‘Ordered from an a la carte menu’, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Irish women more likely to check the food hygiene ratings
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Agreement with statement ‘Checked the food hygiene rating of a restaurant’, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Millennials influenced by online reviews
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 41: Agreement with statement ‘Visited a restaurant after seeing a review online’, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Younger consumers frequent social media users
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 42: Agreement with statement ‘Checked in at a location on social media and received a restaurant discount/special offer’, by marital status, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Eating Out and Full-service Restaurants

                                                                                                                                                      • Irish consumers eat out to enjoy food they don’t cook at home
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Agreement with statements related to attitudes full-service restaurants and eating out, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Men more likely to try different cuisine when eating out
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes towards statement ‘It is important to try different cuisine when eating out’, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Older Gen-Xers eat out to enjoy new dishes
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudes towards statement ‘Eating out is a good way to enjoy food you don’t typically cook at home’, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Women prefer catching up in restaurants as opposed to pubs
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Attitudes towards statement ‘Restaurants are a better place to catch up with friends/family compared to pubs’, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Older consumers and C2DEFs seeking information on service charge
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Attitudes towards statement ‘Restaurants should make it clear where the service charge goes’, by age and socio-economic group, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research
                                                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                          • Generational cohort definitions
                                                                                                                                                            • Market size rationale
                                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations