Independent restaurants driving Glasgow’s F&B market

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Independent restaurateurs are driving forward the food and beverage market in Glasgow, according to real estate advisor Savills.

A total of 11 such eateries opened for business in 2019, accounting for 70% of new occupiers and continuing the trend from 2018, which was 63%. While overall volume of space leased is down 15% from last year, at 65,000 square feet, the proportion leased to local independent operators increased almost 10% during the period, from 36,000 square feet to about 40,000.

Savills said rental values had remained static in 2019, with prime rents reflecting between £35 and £40 per square foot.

John Menzies, director of Savills’ retail team in Glasgow, said, “Independents have been more cautious about how quickly they grow compared with some of the larger chains. Many independents have been priced out of premium rental locations and opted for quirky locations instead that are lower in rent but still close enough to the centre to attract customers. As a result, many of these businesses have demonstrated turnover growth that has, in turn, encouraged more independent businesses to open.”

Demand from national operators was also evident in 2019, with The Ivy Collection (pictured), Nando’s and German Doner Kebab among those to open sites.

Menzies added, “We expect to see another busy year for the casual dining sector leasing market in 2020 but the focus of demand continues to evolve in terms of property type, size and location. A number of interesting national brands are expected to open in 2020, including Franco Manca, Mowgli, Pho and Wolf. With margins tightening in the face of rising operating costs, savvy occupiers are looking for smaller units of 1,500 to 3,000 square feet, often in quirky locations and buildings with architectural character.”

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