12 facts on chicken and burger restaurants

Mintel research has revealed why chicken shops are appealing to a more affluent crowd and what diners want to see more of in outlets.

4 October 2019
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image credit: Getty Images

  • British diners are set to eat £7.5bn worth of burgers and chicken in 2019.
  • 37% of consumers are ordering home deliveries more often from burger and chicken outlets/restaurants than they did a year ago. 70% of takeaway and home delivery users say they prefer the comfort of eating at home than dressing up to go out.
  • The value of the chicken restaurant market is expected to increase by 5% in 2019, with sales of just over £2.bn.
  • The burger sector is expected to grow by a meaty 4% in 2019, bringing sales to more than £5.2bn.
  • 67% of consumers agree that burger and chicken restaurants are offering more healthy options than a year ago.
  • But 44% of users would like burger and chicken outlets/restaurants to offer more dishes with meat alternatives/substitutes such as seitan and soy-based, with interest peaking among 25-34 year olds (60%).
  • However, veganism is still very low down on British consumers’ dining out priorities, with only 9% citing vegan foods as something they would like to see more of when dining out.
  • Korean fried chicken is also proving particularly popular, with 71% of consumers saying they’re very/somewhat interested in this dish.
  • Almost half (48%) of burger and chicken users would pay more to eat at a plastic-free burger/chicken outlet/restaurant, rising to 65% of 25-34 year olds. Plastic pollution awareness is much higher in over-45s (62%) who are considerably more likely than 16-44 year olds (41%) to have heard news about single-use plastic.
  • Over the last year, the number of affluent Brits (defined as people with money left over at the end of the month for a few luxuries or savings) visiting chicken outlets and restaurants has risen from 40% in 2018 to 45% in 2019.
  • Almost half (47%) of those describing their financial situation as 'OK' visited a chicken shop in 2019, compared to 41% a year earlier.
  • Brits with a challenging financial situation dropped their chicken shop visits, with 45% in 2018 compared to 42% in 2019.


“An improvement in the animal welfare of chickens is helping to attract a more affluent clientele to chicken restaurants and outlets, with chicken meals typically costing more than other fast food choices. More exotic offerings, such as Korean fried chicken, are also broadening the appeal of chicken shops to these wealthier diners,” said Trish Caddy, senior foodservice analyst at Mintel. “The guilt-free indulgence of healthier, free-range chicken has clearly met affluent consumers’ value expectations, even if better chicken costs more than a burger. Well-off Brits' love for chicken also suits other food trends, such as eating more high-protein foods. This includes boneless chicken snacks such as bite-sized chicken fillets with dipping sauces, which are great for on-the-go consumption.”

The burger and chicken market is also making a serious effort to push into home delivery, with a trend of brands partnering up with delivery operators such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, Caddy added. “Eventually, big players may take back control of their delivery functions by managing an in-house ecommerce system, making it more accessible for them to expand at a faster rate than some of their appointed third-party delivery partners,” she said.

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