The FINANCIAL — The UK's restaurant and bar sector is likely to see a "significant increase" in mergers and acquisitions activity in 2012, according to accountancy firm BDO.
BDO said that a combination of private equity interest, strong chains looking to cash in and banks offloading repossessed assets would stoke the activity.
Its Restaurant and Bars Report said that although sales increases across the sector were expected to be minimal, big high street names like Pizza Express, Côte, Giraffe, Yo! Sushi and Jamie Oliver's restaurants could change hands in 2012 as buyers move to be in place before the predicted growth of 2013 and beyond.
David Campbell, the head of BDO's restaurants and bars team, said private equity firms were eyeing up the sector's star performers. Other predictions from the report included an increase in calorie and alcohol information on menus and big changes on the high street as pop up and mobile units increase. The report also predicted that technology would become more widespread in restaurants and bars as free Wi-Fi becomes the norm.