Restaurants in the UK have been hit harder by the recession than any other parts of the leisure and hospitality sector, accounting for 45% of the industry’s insolvencies in the final quarter of 2008, according to PwC.

One hundred and forty-one restaurants collapsed during the final three months of last year, compared with 107 during the fourth quarter of 2007. In total, 503 restaurants became insolvent in 2008 – a 32% rise on the previous year.

Stephen Broome, PwC’s hospitality and leisure director, said the figures offered further evidence that Britain’s dining-out boom could be coming to an end.

Financial Times