American fast food looks to the UK for growth14 Dec 2021
Popeyes, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Wingstop and Taco Bell are all expanding in the United Kingdom in a bid to expand their market share, Forbes reported. These fast-food chains are all moving into a country where the beleaguered restaurant industry continues to struggle against labor and supply chain shortages resulting from the pandemic and Brexit.
Consumers are on the hunt for hedonistic experiences following nearly two years of living in a pandemic-inflicted crisis mode. To capitalize on this, the QSR establishments that are making their way across the pond are looking to do so with new menu items, according to Forbes.
Quick service restaurants are a fast-growing category in the U.K. and the European Union. Half of Europe’s largest restaurant companies are categorized as QSR, a classification that is dominated by U.S. corporations. According to Forbes, the dominance of American fast food is already secure in the EU. Twelve U.S. companies are responsible for driving 45% of sales earned by the 95 largest brands in the EU.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out capital is king. American companies with deep pockets are able to innovate and adjust to the current environment in the U.K. where 10% of the positions in hospitality remain unfilled and there is substantial demand for convenient, delivery services.
As American chains search for a competitive advantage that will give them a leg up in the U.K., experts forecast a significant amount of innovation centered around convenience and novelty. Delivery, at least, is a place to begin. In February of 2020, there were 9.1 million delivery orders in the U.K. By February 2021, that figure had grown by 317% to 19.6 million orders.
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