The UK Franchise Map

Earlier this year, it was reported that Britain has ‘the worst diet in Europe’ and that our consumption of highly-processed junk food is four times greater than countries such as Greece, Italy and France. 

 Most people can probably identify their nearest Starbucks, McDonalds or Burger King off the top of their head – which shows just how deeply engrained our love of fast food is.

To visualise the domination of fast food restaurants around the UK, we took 16 fast food franchises and worked out how many of these restaurants operated in 22 cities across the UK.

The results were shocking. The UK is absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to fast food outlets.

Here are some of our main findings:

  • Cardiff is the unhealthiest city when it comes to fast food restaurants, with 30 fast food franchises for every 100,000 people. This means the Welsh capital has approximately 23 more fast food restaurants per 100k people than the healthiest city, Sheffield, which only has 6.
  • We found that Cambridge is the coffee franchise capital of the UK with approximately 20 coffee franchises for every 100k people.
  • If you are student studying in the city of Oxford, then you have the absolute luxury of 8 pizza restaurants for every 100k people. This makes Oxford the pizza capital of the UK.
  • If you live in Newcastle, you live in the McDonalds capital of the UK with one McDonalds per 19k people.
  • Birmingham is the city with the most Greggs restaurants overall, while Cardiff takes the crown as the city with the most Greggs outlets per capita.

For more interesting facts on fast food franchises in the UK, check out our heatmaps below:

According to the British Coffee Association, approximately 95 million cups of coffee are consumed in the UK every day. This got us thinking. How many takeaway coffee franchises does each UK city require to fuel such an overwhelming amount of coffee consumption?

Coffee chains counted in the data:

  • Starbucks
  • Costa
  • Café Nero
  • Pret a Manger
  • AMT Coffee

Based on the following pizza chains, we worked out which university cities boast the most takeaway pizza restaurants per 100k:

  • Pizza Express
  • Pizza Hut
  • Papa Johns
  • Dominos

We have also detailed the most successful pizza chain in these ‘top 5 cities’. Not surprisingly, it is a toss up between Pizza Hut and Dominos.

Finally, we thought we would investigate whether the North loves Greggs more than the South (controversial!).

Based on 16 fast food franchises, the top 4 restaurants per capita were:

  • Greggs: has the most restaurants in 10 cities located in the North and South-West
  • Subway: has the most restaurants in 10 cities located around the South and Northern Ireland (with one exception).
  • Pizza Hut & McDonalds: both have the most restaurants in one city - Oxford

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