With competition at its hottest and margins at their tightest, the need for the out-of-home food and drink market to get thoroughly under the skin of its customers, and understand the trends shaping their preferences, has never been greater.
Britain’s managed pub and restaurant chains saw collective like-for-like sales come out slightly ahead in January, despite the doom and gloom stories surrounding the eating-out market. Latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker, the sector’s established sales barometer, showed a 0.6% increase on the same month last year.
Just how healthy is the state of the UK out-of-home food and drink market? With a string of site closures from casual dining chains and flat trading across the board, prospects don’t look good. But how are operators reacting?