Only 30% of leaders of restaurant, pub, bar and coffee shop groups are optimistic about general market prospects for the next 12 months – a drop of 17% from last year.
These figures have been released by data and research consultancy CGA in its Business Confidence Survey, which collates information from over 100 senior executives across the sector.
Optimism about prospects for their own businesses also fell from 68% in the first quarter to 52%, and a third (32%) of leaders admit their business’ performance has been below expectations in the past six months.
Issues highlighted by the survey include Brexit, where 71% of leaders say the decision to leave the EU has had a negative impact on their business, with only 3% citing a positive impact. More than three-quarters of leaders say increasing costs of raw materials (79%) and rates (78%) have negatively affected their business; and 69% said their business has increased menu prices over the last quarter in light of soaring costs.
The Coffer Peach Business Tracker revealed like-for-like sales at leading managed pub and restaurant chains have risen by just 1.3% over the last 12 months.
CGA vice-president Peter Martin said: “Our Business Confidence Survey is the clearest indication yet of the trials facing the leaders of out-of-home eating and drinking.
“With food, property and people costs all rising, consumer confidence softening, competition intensifying and Brexit casting a long shadow over the future, operators are enduring something of a perfect storm of challenges. But this is a creative and resilient sector, and while leaders’ optimism has been dented this year, they will be rolling up their sleeves and fighting hard for growth in 2018.”
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