Branded restaurant chains have shown their hunger for Leeds by opening 24 new restaurants in the city over the last four years, according to international real estate advisor Savills.
The group has reported that since 2012 the number of multiple restaurant brands in the city has risen by 209% from 22 to 46.
Among those to have branched out into Yorkshire’s main city are Turtle Bay, Gusto and Bill’s, resulting in the number of units occupied by branded restaurants more than doubling from 25 to 52 in the same time frame.
Savills’ recent ‘Casual Dining in the UK’ report showed that Leeds is now home to the second largest overall supply of branded casual dining restaurants in the UK outside of London, with only Manchester having more (78).
Leeds’ nearest Yorkshire competitors York and Harrogate also fared well in the report, with York ranked 19th in the list of the UK’s top 50 casual dining towns in terms of supply, while Harrogate also featured in the top 50.
Savills Retail Director, Steve Henderson, said that the casual dining scene in Leeds “has swung from mass market to aspirational, with Busaba Eathai, Friends of Ham, Steve Pilling’s Dockyard, tapas bar 53 Degrees North and renowned chefs including Marco Pierre White all due to open in the city over the next 12 months.”
He added that while mass market brands have still continued to perform well in their market place, there is a growing trend from consumers to try something different which will continue to drive further growth in branded restaurants in Leeds and elsewhere in major towns and cities.
The most numerous and popular casual dining cuisines in the UK remain Italian food restaurants, in particular pizzerias, which account for 45% of branded restaurants in the country, most of which have been around since before 2008 according to Savills.