Page 10 - Essentially Catering Issue 85
P. 10

Essentially Catering Magazine - January 2019

        Industry News

        Restaurant numbers

        fall 2% in a year

        New Market Growth Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners indicates
        a clear-out of independents and a slowdown from big brands, but
        many small and medium-sized operators continue to grow.
          The number of restaurants in Britain slipped by 2.0% over the year to September 2018, reveals the new edition of the
        Market Growth Monitor, equivalent to more than 10 closures a week.
          The research shows that Britain had a total of 26,892 restaurants at September. The net fall of 539 restaurants marks an
        acceleration of closures since the start of 2018, when the restaurant sector was still in year-on-year growth.
          The Monitor uncovers a clear divide in the restaurant sector’s fortunes in 2018. Independently owned restaurants fell
        in number by 2.6% in the year to September, but managed restaurants recorded a modest increase of 1.0%, despite news
        of closures and CVAs from some leading casual dining brands. Family-owned Chinese, Indian and Italian restaurants have
        borne the brunt of closures, while some multi-site groups - especially small and medium-sized ones - continue to grow
        despite challenging market conditions.
          These groups have fuelled a 7.7% increase in Britain’s restaurant numbers since September 2013, the Monitor shows. But
        after several years of spectacular growth, supply is clearly now settling back to levels that more accurately reflect demand,
        at the end of a year characterised by rising food, property and people costs, fierce competition and signs of saturation in
        some areas.
          Across all licensed premises, including pubs, bars, clubs and hotels as well as restaurants, Britain’s total stood at 118,905
        at September 2018 - a 3.2% fall year on year. Pubs and bars have closed at a faster pace than restaurants, with numbers
        tumbling 11.3% in the last five years - equivalent to around 24 closures a week. But CGA research also reveals evidence that
        pubs and bars with a strong drinks offer are now performing better than for some time, following a summer boosted by
        warm weather and the football World Cup.

          Mandatory calorie labelling will

          be damaging for pubs, says BBPA

          The British Beer & Pub Association has responded to the
          Department for Health and Social Care consultation on
          mandatory calorie labelling for the out-of-home sector,
          including pubs. The BBPA does not support mandatory labelling
          of calories on menus for pubs, arguing that such measures
          will be extremely costly, result in reduced menu choices for
          customers and will disproportionately affect smaller pubs that
          will struggle to implement the proposed changes.
            Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA, said: “Many
          pubs already voluntarily choose to provide information about
          the food they serve to help customers seeking to make healthy
          choices. Calorie labelling will be prohibitively expensive for the
          sector, in particular for the vast majority of those pubs that are
          small businesses. Considering the cost burden pubs already face
          from beer duty, business rates, VAT and staffing costs, mandatory
          calorie labelling could be another nail in the coffin for many pubs.”

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