Published On: Thu, Mar 16th, 2017

Northern cities take the lead with independent restaurant boom

Sticky Walnut, Chester - Chef Gary UsherCITIES in the North are leading the growth of independent restaurants – despite consumer fears of increasingly homogenised high streets and the march of chains.

Research commissioned by Northern Restaurant & Bar (NRB) has tracked the number of independent restaurants – those having only one or two sites – in the UK’s major city centres over the last three years and produced unexpectedly upbeat results.

Thom Hetherington, CEO of NRB, said “Despite high streets having a torrid time the figures clearly show consumers are hungry to support smaller local restaurant operators, with the North performing particularly well.”

He said that visitor registration to this year’s NRB being held at Manchester Central on March 21 and 22 was at record levels, “demonstrating the confidence and ambition of operators in the regions.”

The research, produced in partnership with CGA, the leading hospitality data and insight company, classed independents as operators having less than three sites, and focused on cities with over 100 independent restaurant sites.

It showed Leeds and Newcastle leading the way with a 12.8% increase in the number of independent restaurants at each location.

In the North West, the relatively mature restaurant city of Manchester showed a 3.1% growth and Liverpool at 6.5% was only just behind the 7.4% in London.

“I couldn’t have opened restaurants in London as I have in the North of England,” said Gary Usher, chef patron of Sticky Walnut in Chester, Burnt Truffle in Heswall, Hispi in South Manchester and soon-to-open Wreckfish in Liverpool.

“The economics and audiences are different, and that gave me the opportunity.”

Register for NRB online at

For further information about the exhibition visit, follow on twitter, facebook and Instagram and watch last year’s videos.

  • Pub Management Couple
    Management Couple required for a small local Public House. Previous Management skills an advantage but not essential. You will need to have a goo […]
  • Commis Chef - Carden Park Hotel
    The Hotel … Carden Park Hotel is the very definition of luxury and comfort for both business and leisure guests visiting the Cheshire area. ... […]
  • Front of House - Kitchen - Housekeeping
    WANTED - To join our Team here at The Bacon Arms Hotel. We are probably the only Hotel/Bar in Newbury paying the National Living Wage which is £8 […]
  • Store Manager Bakery Shop & Cafe - Whickham
    Whickham, Gateshead - Salary starting on £19k We are a family run business, looking for a d riven and enthusiastic store Manager required for a b […]
  • Bar, Lounge and Terrace Manager
    To lead BLT to deliver the highest levels of service to all hotel guests and visitors Co-ordinate all BLT team functions and activities To be a r […]