Restaurants and other eateries in the foodservice market across the UK are keeping customers interested in eating out by keeping the menu updated and interesting, broadening their drink and food offering and also by introducing new brands, according to the managing director, Peter Backman, of Horizons which is a foodservice consultancy.
However, at a briefing at London’s Barber-Surgeon’s Hall on Friday, Backman who was speaking, told listeners who were industry executives, that the foodservice industry was at best one of limited growth, but more realistically one of no growth for the projected future.
Backman said “The food service market is still in the doldrums, foodservice share of food spend has dipped below 30% and although consumers are spending more money when they eat out have cut down on the frequency of eating out occasions.”
He carried on to say, “This situation is likely to continue well into 2012 and beyond the economic outlook is unlikely to improve, although I am confident this will start to grow in the longer term.
“Sales of the food and beverage for out of home consumption have shown a rise since 2003 but that rise has now reached a plateau and if you take into account the impact of inflation, this represents a decline.”
Backman later explained how the forward thinking, innovation of quick service and casual dining sectors were keeping customers interested in eating out by providing fresh menus and new concepts, which has allowed the new start-ups to cover their overheads including hiring staff, training and restaurant insurance UK.
Backman said, “Despite the fact that foodservice sales overall have plateaued we are still seeing a high degree of innovation in the sector and this is helping to keep customers interested.” He also said that, “Most of the new concepts are quick service operations merging contemporary styling and healthy food with a fast, fun and young feel.
“It’s all about tailoring your offer to meet whatever your customer’s needs at whatever time of day.”