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The UK Restaurant Sector: Booming But With Challenges

Restaurants & Retail Catering

Eating-out has become more popular than ever in the UK.

According to a recent study by Open Table, the average Brit spends a quarter of their annual wage on dining out. Over the last 12 months alone, there has been a net increase of 1,770 in the number of new restaurants opened in the UK, a 6.9 per cent growth on the previous year. The total number of restaurants in the UK is now estimated at over 27,500 (see 1,770 New Restaurants in 12 Months).

The casual dining market, in particular, is growing at a rapid pace – approximately 11% per annum since 2009, attracting an extra 47m visits each year in comparison to five years ago. With fine dining remaining recession proof, it is independent full service restaurants who are being squeezed with a traffic decline of 11.4 per cent since 2009.

While the eating out market in the UK is booming, the sector continues to face a number of major challenges. Rapid growth in the number of restaurants has resulted in a major chef shortage – a situation so serious it threatens to derail Britain’s ‘foodie boom’.

Increasingly demanding and discerning customers; rising consumer expectations regarding price, quality and value for money; healthy eating options; the impact of social media on consumer buying behaviour; the influx of new brands and dining concepts; the squeeze on independent full-service restaurants; and the on-going industry debate regarding VAT are major challenges for the industry.  We will cover many of these in future blog posts.

The impact of new technology on the sector is a particularly interesting challenge – could robot chefs be the solution to the growing chef shortage?

The Need for Cleanliness

With a booming restaurant sector, the need for clean premises and the highest possible food safety and hygiene standards is a ‘given’ across all segments regardless of whether it is fine or casual dining. Food safety standards in the UK are among the highest in the world. As recently as November of last year, 3,000 London restaurants were told by the Food Standards Agency to improve kitchen hygiene

Due to our extensive experience working in this sector, RP Adam’s dedicated team will ensure that your premises not only meet, but surpass, rigorous health and safety standards regarding cleanliness and the proper use of cleaning chemicals. Our recently updated web site provides more information on the products and services we supply to the restaurant and retail catering sector. Please do contact us if you would like to discuss further.

On-going advice on keeping your premises ‘safe and clean’ can be found here on the Arpal Group blog under the category of Food Safety. This includes a free, seven part e-book entitled Food Safety and Disinfection.

Efficient and effective dish and glass washing is critical to our restaurant and retail catering customers. We will ensure that the wash process results in hygienically clean and dry crockery, cutlery and glassware delivered in a prompt, reliable, efficient and professional way. Please see our four part blog series on ‘Auto Dishwashing’ which is accompanied by a downloadable e-Book.

As usual, all comment and feedback are welcome.

You may find the following links to be of interest.

Useful Links and Resources

Consumer Spending on Hospitality Continues to Rise

UK Restaurants Market Report 2015 (fee based)

Big Hospitality: Trends and Reports

BDO Restaurants and Bars Report, 2014

The UK Restaurant Report 2015 (fee based)

Peach Report

British Hospitality Association

Restaurant and Casual Dining Report, September 2014

Casual Dining Magazine

Safer food, better business for caterers and Food Hygiene for Businesses both from the Food Standards Agency; and information, from the Health and Safety Executive, for people working in the catering and hospitality industry on complying with health and safety law.

The Arpal Group
www.rpadam.co.uk
www.arpalgulf.com

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