Finance issues, an ongoing unstable economy and recruitment problems are the main challenges facing food and beverage businesses in 2016, according to a new report.
A new survey, the 2016 Business Census from Company Check, polled over 1,000 UK businesses asking them what they felt were the biggest difficulties facing them over the next year.
Well over a quarter (28.9%) said that finance was predicted to be their biggest challenge; 23.7% said it was the economy, while 21% said that recruitment was their biggest problem.
The survey also showed that 45% of food businesses had experienced flat or no growth during their last financial year.
Similarly, when asked to expand on why they felt these would be the biggest challenges, business professionals highlighted political concerns - including the introduction of the National Living Wage next month, and the potential of Brexit - as the most pressing issues.
Alastair Campbell, co-founder of Company Check, said: "It's unsurprising that recruitment remains a top concern, with an increase in reported political uncertainties such as the impending EU referendum and the growing security concerns both impacting on companies' ability to attract and retain staff."
However, he added that the NLW wasn't "all bad news", as it was likely to improve the lives of the workforce and therefore improve staff retention in lower-skilled jobs, prompting more people to consider a career in hospitality.
The results come soon after a report from analyst Horizons, which showed that the growth of the UK eating-out market was likely to slow in the longer term thanks to overcapacity and ongoing intensifying competition for sites.