Third-party delivery services and transport hubs like airports and railway stations are among the big opportunities for restaurants, pubs and bars this year, the 2017 Business Leaders’ Survey from CGA Peach (in partnership with Barclaycard) shows. 

The poll of around 250 senior execs finds that more than half (54%) think services like deliveroo and Just Eat are well positioned to thrive in the next year, up by 12 percentage points on the 2016 survey – although some operators may see them as much as a threat. It follows the rapid rise of delivery platforms and moves by many casual dining brands to integrate them into their operations.

Other opportunities identified by the survey include travel hubs, which three quarters (74%) of leaders classify as growth hotspots this year. Confidence in these high footfall locations contrasts with town centre retail developments, which only half (51%) think will deliver growth—down by nine percentage points on 2016, reflecting the perceived risk of saturation of restaurants here. Other key trends revealed by the Business Leaders’ Survey include: 

  • The rise of craft. Asked about big drinks trends in 2017, half (52%) of leaders tip craft beer. But the trend extends to more drinks, with two in five singling out artisan coffee (41%) and micro-distillery spirits (39%)
  • Growth in vegetarian eating. More than a quarter (27%) of leaders tip vegetarian eating as a food trend this year—up by 11 percentage points on 2016. The proportion choosing the largely meat-based barbecue trend has meanwhile dipped by 13 percentage points
  • Opportunities in soft drinks and technology. Only 15% of leaders think their business is market-leading in technology innovation, and even fewer (13%) think the same of their soft drinks offer—revealing the scale of opportunity for brands that can improve on either.

The exclusive survey also reveals cautious confidence in the eating and drinking out sector, with two thirds (67%) of leaders optimistic about their business’ prospects in 2017 despite rising property, food and people costs. 

“Cost input pressure on operators is mounting, but our Business Leaders’ Survey reveals plenty of growth opportunities across the market. Brands that can nail delivery, find the right spots for footfall and provide a compelling drinks offer should all be well placed in 2017—but keeping right on top of consumer trends will be vital.”
— Peter Martin, vice president, CGA Peach

About the Business Leaders Survey

The Business Leaders Survey is conducted by CGA Peach in partnership with Barclaycard, and pulls together feedback from 250 senior level business leaders in the drinking and eating out industry, representing approximately 190 businesses totaling 20,000 outlets in Great Britain.  

For PR enquiries, please contact

For more details and to access the full report, contact Jamie Campbell at CGA Peach on 0161 476 8375 or


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