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Mass restaurant closures in UK

Staff Writer |
Restaurant closures are hitting "epidemic levels" in the UK as a rise in business rates and the rise of street food weigh on consumer spend on food.

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According to a report from Moore Stephens, the number of restaurants shutting down across the country has nearly doubled over the last eight years, with 1,219 restaurant insolvencies just in 2018.

One of the reasons why restaurants are shutting down is the switch to street-food stalls which are cheaper than the sky-high bricks-and-mortar costs and more flexible.

Restaurants were also being pressured by rising wages and higher food and beverage prices caused by weakness in the pound, Moore Stephens said.

Restaurant chains such as Carluccio's, Prezzo, Jamie's Italian and Strada all closed outlets in 2018 and there were little signs of any pick-up in demand.

"The impact is visible on almost every high street of a major town or city," the report said. "In the wake of Brexit uncertainty and interest rate rises, it seems consumers are tightening their belts and discretionary spending is the first thing to go."

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