Hospitality and food and beverage industry bosses are more optimistic about recovery in the sector than they were 12 months ago.
That's the result of a survey of 311 executives by London-based management Allegra Strategies.
But senior industry figures were still cautious about the prospects for 2010, with 86% of those surveyed expecting recovery across the wider economy to take longer than 12 months.
The current trading environment was found to have improved "significantly" over the past 12 months, with double the number of executives reporting that the climate was positive compared with 2008. But early trading in 2010 has been hampered by severe weather.
And many highlighted the depreciating pound as a "major concern" for businesses which has resulted in increased input costs for many food and beverage operators.
The survey also claimed that brand identity was growing in importance and that strong brands would also have to develop a ‘local feel' to appeal to consumers' changing tastes. Pret A Manger was voted the most admired food sector brand, for its product quality and consistency, while Waitrose was the most admired supermarket brand.
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