The figure marks the fifth consecutive quarter of decline in restaurant numbers after a decade of rapid growth. Most closures affected independent outlets, though the number of group-owned restaurants also recorded a 1.1 percent drop.
The pace of closures was markedly higher in the south of England (2.8 percent) than in the north (0.4 percent), suggesting a clear-out of unsustainable outlets was taking place in the saturated southern market. The report noted that pub and bar closures had decelerated, with premium and all-day bars performing particularly well.
The announcement of the drop comes in the wake of a number of highly publicised closures of restaurants in recent months, including the collapse of the 25-outlet-strong Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group in May and the bankruptcy of cake chain Patisserie Valerie in January.
The dining sector has been grappling with a challenging trading environment in recent months, against a backdrop of rising costs, overcapacity, and Brexit-induced political uncertainty. The difficulties are compounded by broader challenges facing the high street, which has seen a decline in footfall amid rapidly changing consumer habits.