After Brexit, the UK's £100bn catering market will be the largest in Europe

UK spends the most of all EU countries on eating out

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org

The UK leads the way in the EU with a £100bn spend – by far the biggest in the EU

In 2018, households in the European Union countries spent over €600 bn (equivalent to 3.8% of EU28 GDP) on 'catering services', i.e. restaurants, cafés, canteens, sports and entertainment venues, and the like.

The United Kingdom spent the most - €116bn euros, or almost £100 billion pounds. On its own the UK represents one-fifth of the total spent in the EU on eating out.

Another EU-beating investment opportunity for international and UK businesses

When the United Kingdom leaves the EU, the UK’s market for catering services will be one-quarter of the size of the catering market in all of the EU27 countries combined. It will be the largest single market in Europe – 37% bigger than Italy’s, 59% bigger than France’s, and 62% bigger than Germany’s.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

In terms of expenditure on catering services per household, Ireland spends the most in the EU at a staggering 14.4% of total household expenditure. However its overall spend as a country is only 12% of that of the United Kingdom.

At the other end of the spectrum is Romania, with each household spending just 1.9% of their total consumption on catering services.

What are "catering services"?

Catering services are :-

  • Meals, snacks, drinks and refreshments provided by restaurants, cafés, buffets, bars, tea-rooms, etc, including:
  • In places providing recreational, cultural, sporting or entertainment services: theatres, cinemas, sports stadia, swimming pools, sports complexes, museums, art galleries, night clubs, dancing establishments, etc.
  • On public transport (coaches, trains, boats, aeroplanes, etc.) when priced separately
  • The sale of food products and beverages for immediate consumption by kiosks, street vendors and the like, including food products and beverages dispensed ready for consumption by automatic vending machines
  • The sale of cooked dishes by restaurants for consumption off their premises,
  • The sale of cooked dishes by catering contractors whether collected by the customer or delivered to the customer’s home


For years the public has been subjected to a diet of ‘little UK’ propaganda. There are many in the Remain community in the country - and amongst our young people - who seem to believe that the United Kingdom is somehow too small to survive without being run from Brussels. Fortunately they are in a minority, but as we all know Remainers are an extremely vocal minority.

For the last four years Brexit Facts4EU.Org has been trying to correct this propaganda with actual facts, which demonstrate the opposite (and positive) case. In almost all reports we have delved into the EU’s own statistics so that they cannot be countered by Remainers.

Today we have given yet another example of the UK’s position in Europe, and once again we have used the official statistics from the EU Commission.

Remainers (soon to be “Rejoiners”) will no doubt again say “Ah yes, but after Brexit the EU will still be a bigger market for catering services than the UK.” As ever, they will miss the point.

The EU is not a single country – not yet, anyway. Any foreign investor wishing to take advantage of the market in catering services in Europe will be looking at 27 hugely disparate countries in the bureaucratic EU – and at the largest market of them all in Europe, which will be the free and independent United Kingdom.

We know which one we would choose.

Welcome to our new “Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday” publishing schedule

For the last four years members of the Brexit Facts4EU.Org team have borne the majority of the cost ourselves, with the remainder coming from donations from ordinary readers from the Great British Public, to whom we are very grateful. Unlike the Remainers we did not have funding coming from foreign billionaires.

Regrettably, last week we had to decide to reduce our seven day-a-week publishing schedule down to three days a week, as we simply couldn’t afford to subsidise this any longer to the same extent. Today is the first day of the new publishing schedule.

We really hope readers will set their diaries to come to this site every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We will still be producing the same quality reports – albeit less of them.

We can only keep going if readers continue to help us with donations as they have before. Without these we would have to shut up shop completely, at such a critical time to see Brexit through. This ‘game’ is not yet over.

Quick and secure donation methods are below this article. Please help if you can, we need you. Thank you.

[ Sources: EU Commission official statistics agency ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Tues 07 Jan 2020

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