The Future of Restaurants UK

To better understand where the industry is heading, we have surveyed over 300 restaurateurs and 1,000 consumers to find out how business has changed since 2020.

Restaurants are investing and innovating

Restaurants are going through a revolution; the pandemic exacerbated the demand for businesses to adapt to customers’ ever-evolving expectations and lifestyle changes. From fine dining to fast food, the industry is now embracing technological advances, changing how they interact with customers, and focusing on building loyal communities. These aren’t temporary measures and might be indicative of further change to come.

To better understand where the industry is heading, we surveyed over 300 restaurateurs and 1,000 consumers to find out how business has changed since 2020.

Here’s a peek into what we found:


of UK restaurants have had to make changes to their business to survive the last year, pivoting the way they operate and looking at new business opportunities such as delivery, takeout, or produce sales.


of UK restaurants see takeaway revenue as a key earner in the next twelve months, with one-in-five expecting that the bulk of sales will come from delivery or takeout.


of UK consumers prefer using a restaurant-owned website or application for delivery over third-party sites.


of restaurants have invested in kitchen automation technology, with a further 41% planning to invest in the coming six months.

1 in 4

consumers consider contactless technology to be a critical part of their dining experience, which has been on a steady rise due to safety concerns, but more importantly, the efficiency it brings.


of restaurants intend to continue focusing on local community engagement next year, including stocking local produce and hosting or engaging in community-led events.

“The pandemic allowed us to bear witness to some of the most incredible pivot stories, whether it’s hosting high-end experiences out of camper vans or building virtual cooking-class subscriptions that can make for the more-than-ideal first date.”

— Rajat Deva, Product Marketing Manager, Square for Restaurants

In this report, you’ll find:

From contactless payment to QR-codes, drive-ins to pop-ups. Discover the new tools of the trade, technology, and trends changing how restaurants operate.

Industry insights from restaurant experts at Square

Bryan Solar and Rajat Deva, our resident restaurant experts, discuss some of the most innovative and important trends they’re seeing in the restaurant industry this year, looking at how they will affect the industry in the future.

Practical examples and insights from innovative Square restaurant business owners

Discover advice from Square restaurant owners who have remained resilient in the face of change, adapted to new operating methods, and are continuing to innovate for the future.

Tools and strategies to help you bring all of these ideas to life

Integrate these ideas and trends into your business, no matter your size or location.

To get the rest of these insights and trends, download the full Future of Restaurants report.