Foodservice Footprint F41-p6 Foodservice leaders upbeat despite Brexit ‘havoc’ Foodservice News and Information Out of Home sector news  news-email CGA Brexit

Foodservice leaders upbeat despite Brexit ‘havoc’

Two in three senior executives in the eating and drinking out sector remain positive about prospects for their company in the coming 12 months. Performance has also been in line with, or above, expectations for over three quarters (76%) of the leaders surveyed by CGA.

However, mounting costs and the UK’s divorce from the European Union continue to dampen confidence in the out-of-home market more widely. Around one in three (34%) are optimistic about the sector’s prospects in the coming year, down from 43% in a similar survey conducted in May.

More than three quarters of leaders said their business has been affected by increases in food costs (81%), and nearly as many (70%) said they had passed these increased costs on to consumers via menu price rises in the last quarter.

Falling consumer confidence, rising import costs and uncertainty regarding the availability of European workers are creating a “perfect storm” of Brexit challenges, CGA suggested.

Nearly three quarters (71%) of leaders said the decision to leave the EU had already had a negative impact on their business, and there was widespread alarm that the most severe consequences of Brexit were still to be felt.

Before the June 2016 referendum vote confidence in the market was “sky-high”, said CGA vice president Peter Martin, but it “plummeted straight after the vote”.

Martin added: “Food, property and staff costs are rising, Brexit negotiations are causing havoc with exchange rates, imports and staffing, and consumer confidence remains patchy. The good news is that two thirds of business leaders are upbeat about their prospects.”