The number of restaurants in Scotland going bust was at a record annual high of 136 last year, following an 86% surge, analysis of Insolvency Service statistics by French Duncan reveals.

And the restaurant sector accounted for 13.9% of all corporate failures in Scotland last year, the accountancy firm's analysis shows.

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Eileen Blackburn, head of restructuring and debt advisory at French Duncan, cited high rents, high rates, increased staff costs, and, for those importing ingredients, higher supply costs.

She added: “There is also an issue with over-capacity in the sector, and rising costs have resulted in many restaurants simply being unable to continue to operate.

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“Some Scottish operators may also be operating on a model that is now outmoded. The discount-voucher market which can be a useful tool in the short term also lowers revenue as consumers shop around for the next deal. Vouchers can lead to a vicious circle of voucher dependence, lower income, and reduced profitability and, ultimately, closure.”

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