More than two thirds (69%) of foodservice leaders say their business has had to increase menu prices over the last quarter in light of soaring costs.
Data from the CGA’s latest Business Confidence Survey shows that pricing pressures are just one of a number of factors to have dented optimism among leaders in the eating and drinking out sectors since the start of the year.
The survey found that only 30% of leaders of restaurant, pub, bar and coffee shop groups are optimistic about general market prospects for the next 12 months—down from 47% in the first quarter of 2017.
Brexit is another major concern with 71% of leaders saying the decision to leave the EU has had a negative impact on their business, with only 3% citing a positive impact.
And more than three quarters of leaders said increasing costs of raw materials (79%) and rates (78%) had negatively affected their business.
The research was based on responses from well over 100 senior executives across the eating out sector, including big corporates and small entrepreneurial operators. It found that a third (32%) of leaders admit their business’ performance has been below expectations in the last six months, down by five percentage points from May’s survey.
“Our Business Confidence Survey is the clearest indication yet of the trials facing the leaders of out-of-home eating and drinking,” said CGA vice president Peter Martin. “With food, property and people costs all rising, consumer confidence softening, competition intensifying and Brexit casting a long shadow over the future, operators are enduring something of a perfect storm of challenges. But this is a creative and resilient sector, and while leaders’ optimism has been dented this year, they will be rolling up their sleeves and fighting hard for growth in 2018.”