NEW FIGURES show that in the last six months, soaring energy prices have had the biggest negative impact of any factor affecting profits in the hospitality industry, according to 90% of restaurant owners surveyed in the latest Bookatable Dining Index.
The Index, based on interviews with 200 UK restaurants and supported by industry data, reveals the challenges currently facing the sector and suggests that aside from the short term impact, rising energy costs are also expected to stifle future growth in hospitality.
The study showed that despite over half (68%) of restaurants adopting measures to cut their energy usage in the last year, the vast majority (90%) say that rising energy costs have made them re-assess menu prices in the last six months.
Moreover, food costs continue to cause concern. Bookatable’s 2013 Dining Index revealed that food prices had overtaken rent and rates in the list of overheads facing UK restaurants, coming second only to staff wages, and the 2014 Dining Index now shows that the cost of food remains the biggest expenditure for one in five (20%).
When asked what measures they have introduced to reduce costs in the last six months, over half (60%) of restaurants report they have actively started to monitor food waste and almost a third (28%) have reduced portion sizes to avoid binning uneaten meals. The Bookatable data shows 70% of restaurants consider food wastage to be a huge concern for their business.
Joe Steele, CEO of Bookatable, says, “Bookatable’s Dining Index shows the pressures felt by the restaurant industry. Many restaurants operating today have worked hard to survive the economic decline, but now face similar challenges that consumers will recognise from their own households, as food and energy prices soar. This is a real concern for the restaurant industry as well as diners, as while profits and growth suffer, the cost of eating out is impacted.”
Download the full report and infographics here.