The confidence caterers and outsourced providers have for the current government to support the hospitality industry has declined compared with last year.
That's according to the Food Service Management (FSM) market report published today (3 November) by the British Hospitality Association (BHA).
The survey of BHA members, conducted on the cusp of the EU referendum, found that 30% of respondents were not confident that the Conservative government would support the sector.
The figure increased from 25% last year, while 47% said they remained neutral on the issue.
Just under a quarter of companies (23%) said they were confident the government would support the sector, down from 25% the previous year.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Ufi Ibrahim (pictured
"I take a bit of responsibility for this; I should as the CEO of the BHA, because it is our job to ensure this industry is supported. It is a strong message to us."
She added: "The message will be fed back to government departments so they understand they are missing an opportunity to do more to help support and drive employment and economic growth in the sector."
Ibrahim said the hospitality industry was crucial to the UK economy, generating 2.9 million jobs as the UK's fourth largest employer.
The foodservice management sector alone directly employs more than 902,000 people across the UK, accounting for 31% of the entire hospitality workforce.
She explained the hospitality industry had contributed to one in five of all new jobs in the UK over the past five years.
"That's 331,000 new jobs," she said. "It's an absolutely significant number and a message we convey to government at every opportunity."
The report also highlighted that foodservice management businesses have experienced continued growth over the past three years. A total of 81% of respondents said net revenues had increased between 2014 and 2015.
Phil Hooper, chairman of the BHA FSM Forum and brand and communications director of Sodexo UK and Ireland, discussed the importance of the report's findings.
The 2016 Foodservice Cateys Outstanding Contribution award winner said: "We talk constantly about our image as a sector; we talk constantly about how good the sector is and why can't we get people into it. This report is a starter for 10, if nothing else. It's a good reflection of our sector and helps us to put our best foot forward.
"It can be easy for us [FSM companies] to get subsumed under hospitality, tourism, hotels, etc. We are an important sector and a big sector and we will take this report to government to confirm the scale of the sector."
The report was launched this morning at the City of London Club at Old Broad Street.
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