Despite difficult trading conditions and uncertainty over Brexit, hospitality businesses have seen steady growth in the last 12 months and are reportedly positive about their future.
According to the 2019 haysmacintyre UK Hospitality Index, there is resilience in the sector, with average turnover growth of respondents broadly consistent with last year at 4.2% (4.7% in 2018) and 90% of respondents optimistic for the future of their own business. However, the view for the wider industry was less upbeat, with only 39% of those questioned positive about the outlook for the sector as whole.
The survey also showed that uncertainty has continued to bite, with fears over availability of labour and the overall impact of Brexit among respondents’ top concerns. This year, 83% of respondents believe that Brexit will impact negatively on their ability to recruit staff, compared to 77% last year.
Unsurprisingly, the index also highlighted the burden of business rates on hospitality businesses, with 80% of respondents calling on the government for reform of the business rates system.
Some other key findings were…
- Over two thirds (68%) of respondents saw an increase in demand for low- and no-alcoholic drinks compared to 57% in 2018
- 81% of respondents have taken concrete steps to improve on sustainability, including efforts to cut down on single use plastic; reduce energy usage; source food more locally; and use food waste apps
- Over half (52%) of this year’s respondents now use a delivery service compared to 39% last year, but only 28% of respondents stated that delivery has a positive impact on profits, and less than half (48%) said it had a positive impact on turnover
- This year’s respondents reported average labour costs as a percentage of turnover of 31% compared to last year’s sample which was 29%