The UK restaurant industry has taken a huge hit due to the weakening of the British Pound after pulling out of the EU in 2016.
Once famed for its varied range of cuisine, the restaurant sector in the UK has become one of the victims of Brexit. Latest studies have shown that due to the drop in the pound, rising costs of produce and inevitably, more costly dining out prices, fewer people are going out to eat as they tighten the purse strings. The UK hasn't seen a slump like this for almost a decade and signs of a quick recovery are nowhere to be seen.
The number of restaurants has fallen dramatically for the first time in 8 years. According to the latest data, two restaurants every week in the first three months of 2018, closed their doors for good. It's not just independents that are being hit either. High-end dining and some of the biggest fast-food chains have also fallen victim.
Ever since the UK decided to leave the EU, it's gone through the normal growing pains that come with a huge messy break-up. The UK has had to deal with the weakening of the pound. Pair this with ingredients becoming more expensive and the introduction of the national living wage being increased, it's meant that businesses just haven't been able to cope. Essentially, it's the straw that broke the camels back. With prices increasing for customers, it meant that the M&S dine in for a tenner seemed much more appealing and purse friendly.
Rewind a few years back and the restaurant industry enjoyed continuous huge growth. Entrepreneurs poured their money into new restaurant ventures and everyone was happy. The north of England especially enjoyed the growth where there are currently more food chains than 5 years ago. However, with a new restaurant opening up left, right and centre, it has proved too much for the sector and something's finally got to give.
The industry currently shows no sign of recovering but we don't know for certain what the future holds for restaurants in the UK. Brexit certainly has had a huge effect on how restaurants operate and they're having to find new ways to hold their heads above the water. The economic issues that the region is facing are huge won't be going away anytime soon. Only time will tell if an industry that was flourishing just a few years ago will be able to claw itself back to the top.