A survey of Northern Ireland’s ‘fast food hotspots’ ranks Lisburn sixth of 10, measuring the number of big-name outlets per head of population.
The survey, by Dr Wayne Osborne and the Treated.com team, focused on leading brands McDonald’s (of which Lisburn boasts one) Burger King (one), KFC (two), Domino’s (one), Subway (six) and Costa (one).
With its single outlet serving 71,645, people, the city emerged with the distinction of having Northern Ireland’s lowest concentration of McDonald’s stores; (Craigavon [urban area] had the highest, with three stores serving an estimated 65,000 people.
Lisburn’s contingent of 12 survey outlets is a far cry from the 55 boasted by Belfast, where a whopping 28 Subway stores account for almost exactly half the total reached by adding five McDonald’s, five Burger King, nine KFC, four Domino’s and four Costa.
But when measured against population, Lisburn’s 0.17 stores per 1,000 people edges Belfast, with 0.16, into seventh spot. The inclusion of Castlereagh would have altered the picture, but the survey concluded: “Belfast’s numbers might have looked different if the neighboring ‘suburb’ of Castlereagh was included, which contains two McDonald’s, a Burger King, two KFCs, a Domino’s and two Subway stores.
“However, the Castlereagh area was discounted for two reasons; firstly, as of May 2015, it forms part of the Lisburn and Castlereagh council area (but not strictly the urban area); secondly, the latest available urban population figure for the Castlereagh area alone is from 2001 and is therefore not comparable to the other towns and cities included . . .”
Topping the table is Newry, whose total of nine survey outlets amounts to 0.30 stores per 1,000 of its 29,946 people.
The survey, also taking in Wales and England, followed earlier studies in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. A seventh brand, Greggs, was included elsewhere but exluded in Northern Ireland as it currently has only one store.
The survey found that, Cardiff aside, smaller towns generally fared worse than cities, with the highest concentrations in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland all in towns of 60,000 or less.