Two-thirds of operators within the foodservice sector expect the already challenging trading environment to get worse in the next six months, research has found.
The Senior Executive Top of Mind Survey, by research group Allegra Strategies, surveyed 250 senior executives at companies including Punch Taverns, McDonald's, Compass Group, Sodexo, Caffè Nero, Wagamama and Gordon Ramsay Holdings, as well retailers and suppliers.
Two-thirds of those surveyed said they were already experiencing a challenging trading environment, with more than half stating trading performance had deteriorated in the last quarter of 2008.
Of those surveyed two-thirds predicted that the situation would get worse in the next three to six-months, while 75% believe that economic recovery within the UK will take more than a year.
The economic downturn is the single biggest concern for businesses (55%), with rising food costs (48%) and declining consumer spending (39%) also identified as major challenges.
Innovation, customer service excellence and cost control are key to success in the current environment, according to the survey's respondents.
Although two-thirds believe the London Olympics 2012 will provide substantial business opportunities for the sector, the current trading environment means few companies are presently dedicating resources to it.
By Kerstin Kühn
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