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The Changing Palate of the UK: How Dining Preferences Are Shaping the Hospitality Landscape in 2023

The dining landscape in the UK is witnessing a significant shift, reflective of evolving consumer preferences and societal changes. This evolution in the hospitality sector is not merely a fleeting trend, but rather a signifier of deeper, more lasting transformations. Our insights are drawn from a comprehensive survey conducted by, showcasing the most popular dining brands in the UK for Q3 2023. This data serves as a valuable lens through which we can observe and understand these changes, providing critical insights for both B2B and B2C entities in the hospitality industry.

Analysis of Popular Dining Brands


At the forefront of this transformation are brands like Greggs, leading the pack with significant popularity percentages. But what makes these brands stand out? A closer look reveals commonalities such as diverse menus catering to a range of tastes, competitive pricing strategies that offer value for money, and strategic location choices enhancing accessibility for a wider audience.


Greggs Takes the Lead


Greggs, known for its quick service, affordable pricing, diverse offerings and fantastic Christmas menus (featuring the highly popular Festive Bake), has clinched the top spot! This reflects a growing trend towards convenient, value-driven dining experiences. This truly is a testament to their ability to adapt and resonate with the evolving tastes of the UK populace.

J D Wetherspoon and McDonald’s in Close Pursuit


Not far behind, J D Wetherspoon and McDonald’s hold the second and third positions, respectively. This indicates a consistent preference for well-established brands that offer a blend of quality, affordability, and convenience.

The Surprising Shift: Wimpy Burger vs Burger King


Amidst these top rankings, a surprising trend has emerged – the preference for Wimpy Burger over Burger King. This unexpected shift underscores the changing dynamics in the UK’s dining preferences and suggests a deeper appreciation for brands that perhaps align more closely with the UK’s unique dining culture.

Consumer Trends and Preferences


The reasons behind the popularity of these brands are as varied as they are telling. A significant trend is the gravitation towards quick-service restaurants, reflecting the fast-paced lifestyle of modern consumers. Simultaneously, there’s a growing inclination towards health-conscious dining options, as well as experiential dining that offers more than just a meal, but a memorable experience. Economic factors, lifestyle changes, and health trends play pivotal roles in shaping these preferences.


Insight from Industry Experts


Richard Goodall, MD of PowerEPOS, reflects on these findings:

“The Q3 survey is a clear indicator of the changing landscape in the UK’s dining sector. The success of brands like Greggs, Wetherspoon’s, and McDonald’s, coupled with the surprising preference for Wimpy Burger, shows a market that values tradition, innovation, and familiarity. These insights are invaluable for any business strategising for Q4 and beyond.”

Impact on the Hospitality Sector


These evolving trends are not just influencing consumer choices; they’re reshaping the entire hospitality market in the UK. As the market responds to these shifts, brands that have not yet reached the top rankings are considering adaptations to align more closely with consumer preferences.

Predictions and Forecasts


Looking ahead, the dining industry in the UK is poised for further change. Emerging dining concepts and new entrants to the market are likely to challenge the status quo, driven by the continuous evolution of consumer tastes and preferences.



The key findings from the survey underscore a dynamic shift in the UK’s dining landscape. For businesses in the hospitality sector, adapting to these changing preferences is not just advisable; it’s essential for staying competitive. This narrative presents not only data but also a strategic perspective that can guide industry professionals, investors, and consumers in navigating the future of dining in the UK.

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