Falling inflation gives hospitality businesses the chance to fix utility prices
The latest lower-than-expected inflation figures provide an opportunity for hospitality businesses to lock in price deals with their utility suppliers, according to buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.
The annual increase in the UK Retail Price Index stood at 3.1% in May, down from 3.5% in April and the lowest since December 2009.
Lynx Purchasing managing director John Pinder said: "The utilities market is always volatile, as political and economic factors can change the outlook quickly, but currently we are getting some very good deals for customers willing to commit to multi-year utility contracts."
Lynx is also warning that caterers face higher costs for menu staples such as burgers and sausages.
"Our latest Market Forecast highlights that, behind the headline inflation figures, there are key products such as meat which are still seeing sharp price increases," Pinder added.
"Along with prime cuts, the cost of beef and pork trim used for products such as sausages, burgers and pies has been going up steadily. These are widely served across the sector, not only in pubs and restaurants, but also in areas such as education. When the key suppliers publish their autumn price lists, many operators will face the stark choice of raising prices or taking a hit on margins."
By Lisa Jenkins
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