The future of food service lies with longer opening hours and maximising space, according to Peter Backman of food service analyst Horizons.
Restaurant and pub operators will have to extend their opening hours to appeal to consumers at any time of the day from breakfast through to late-night dinner.
This was one of Backman's key predictions at a British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) marketing seminar held in Reading yesterday.
Backman said operators would also be forced to use their space more efficiently, with larger outlets running several concepts from a single unit such as a takeaway option to quick service food and a sit-down restaurant.
"The fundamentals of the market are likely to remain similar, with eating out continuing to grow, albeit slowly, and consumers eating out on a regular basis," he said. "But looking five, 10 or more years down the line the cost of rents and overheads will encourage operators to truly maximise the space they have, making each square foot of their premises contribute to boosting turnover in order to improve profitability."
Backman also said that it was likely that some of the larger pub and restaurant operators would sell off their sub-brands, in order to concentrate on a single concept.
"It's going to be ever-more important for operators to concentrate on what they do well, and shed what they don't do so well. The future is going to be about the offer, the quality of that offer and how profitable the concept is," he added.
By Neil Gerrard
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