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The Avocado Show
Research from international real estate advisor, Savills has shown that, in spite of the challenges caused by Covid-19, a string of international food and beverage (F&B) operators have entered the London market so far this year, indicating a recovery in activity in the city’s F&B sector.

Savills reports that 14 new international F&B brands have taken debut sites in London so far this year, dominated by restaurants and grab and go concepts. While this is understandably down on pre-pandemic levels (with an average of 23 sites secured in 2018 and 2019), only five new F&B entrants opened throughout all of last year, highlighting the uplift that is being seen in 2021.

Furthermore, Savills goes on to state that the F&B sector has been the most active in terms of new entrants, accounting for over half of all new international brands opening debut London sites, whereas, historically, the market has been led by international fashion.

New names to the city include two new concepts from the Netherlands, The Seafood Bar, which opened on Dean Street in Soho, and The Avocado Show which has secured a site on Princes Street just off Regent Street. Savills also notes that there have been a number of operators arriving from France, including Thai inspired fast-casual chain Pitaya which has opened in Covent Garden.

In addition, Savills also reports that not only have international F&B entrants been capitalising on opportunities, there has also been an uptick in requirements from existing operators and restaurants groups, with Big Mamma, Gordon Ramsay and The Ivy all having recently acquired further sites.

Marie Hickey, commercial research director at Savills, commented, “While Covid lockdowns and the absence of international visitors understandably muted demand initially from international brands, we are now beginning to see a resurgence in activity.

'Increasingly attractive rents and incentives, coupled with an uplift in footfall as Londoners return to the office, has led to many operators capitalising on significantly improved opportunities in the market.”

Peter Thomas, central London retail director at Savills, added, “In spite of the obvious difficulties within the sector at the moment, a significant number of international and London-based restaurants groups are actively looking to improve their portfolios within the capital.

'We are seeing F&B business of all sizes, many of which are self-funded, seeking new sites throughout central London and into the suburbs.”

(source: Savilla, image: )