Rise of the north for restaurants and bars sector

Northern cities will be at the centre of a food revolution next year with Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds seen as top destinations for innovative and scalable restaurant concepts, according to accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP.

According to BDO’s Restaurants & Bars Report, an increase in M&A activity, crowdfunding and cashless payments are set to be among the biggest trends for the next 12 months.

Smokehouses and barbecue concepts are also expected to have a great year in 2015, with the success of Red’s True Barbecue and Piper’s £6m investment in Hickory’s Smokehouse being a sign of things to come.

Kieran Lawton, M&A director at BDO LLP in Manchester, said: “Deal activity in the restaurants and bars sector has been buoyant during the last 12 months. For 2015, there are no signs of this slowing down, especially in Northern cities which are increasingly seen as the go-to destinations for growth outside of London.

“Crowd funding is likely to have a boom period this year and private equity appetite will continue to be rife for scalable concepts with roll-out strategies.”

2015 will see openings in Manchester for Hawksmoor, MeatLiquor, Wahaca and Iberica.

Lawton adds: “National operators can see the potential that Northern cities already have to offer.

“With calls by operators for relaxed planning laws on King Street to allow for licenced-leisure use, as well as the redevelopment of The Triangle as a food destination, we can expect an exciting year of expansion and innovation for the region’s restaurant sector.”