Restaurant durability over time

Having a few idle moments on hand this morning, I went back over my restaurant notes for 2008. I see we visited 45 different places in the UK and, of these, 15 are now closed.

So, a 33% attrition rate over ten years. I know it’s tough business to be in but I wonder if that’s a pretty standard rate - not just for the UK but wherever you are in the world. Your thoughts?

By the by, my closure list runs the full range from a Michelin starred place to a humble dining pub.

Notes for all restaurants in 10 years?! Wow! you are organised. 45 isn’t a lot, 4.5 per year.

Unfortunately, my notes and photos scattered everywhere, I will try my best to gather them.

Interesting and shaking my head in agreement thread. I’m not as organized in my restaurant notes as you are (great idea) but turnover and closures in popular commercial spaces are so common in my area the Entertainment book (a very popular discount dining club) was ruined by it. So often in fact that when my wife and I leave a restaurant excited by the menu we don’t want to jinx it by chatting up our experience. How sad is that?!

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45 in 2008. 50 so far this year.


I’m kind of immune from feelings when thinking about restaurant failures.

But…when one we like/love goes under, I’m crushed. Has happened to us twice this year.

It would be interesting to know how long the restaurants in question had already been in business when you first visited them.

I don’t keep close tabs (tbh, I don’t keep tabs at all, so I’m working purely on on vague anecdata), but here in NYC, I think the attrition rate is higher (probably quite a bit higher) than 33%, at least adjusted for overall lifespan. Restaurants come and go like fruit flies here… with only a relatively small number of “new places” staying in business for much more than 5 years. Of course if they manage to stay in business that long, there’s a good chance they’ll be around for quite a lot longer still, but the first few years are killers…

Looking back at the names, I couldnt say with any certainty - although I take your later point that “new” places suffer a higher rate of attrition and my feeling is that several of them will certainly have been newish back in 2008.