Spiralling energy costs are hammering hospitality companies' profits, according to new research carried out by Caterer in association with the Carbon Trust.
More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents to Caterer‘s energy usage survey said they had absorbed the recent hikes in energy costs into their bottom lines, rather than pass them on to customers.
Worryingly for hospitality industry workers, nearly one-fifth (18%) of respondents had slashed staff to help balance their rising energy costs.
Other hospitality companies have made savings elsewhere but could be storing up problems for the future, with nearly one-third (31%) reducing investment on maintenance and 15% trimming staff training and development budgets.
While most respondents wanted to be "green", the cost of energy remained the key driver for cutting energy use (46%), although more than 20% of respondents were motivated by feelings of social responsibility.
According to the survey, most hospitality companies have taken action to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions, or plan to do so in the near future. However, more than half (56%) of those surveyed felt there still wasn't enough information or support available to help operators reduce energy consumption.
- For tips on reducing your energy bills, check out Caterer‘s special Carbon Trust round table report in Infozone on 27 July.
By Chris Druce