12 Nov 2019 by Charles Manners
We attended the Alix Partners and EP Hospitality launch of the 2019 Foodservice Growth Report, which made for an interesting session. With an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, rising food and drink cost pressures coupled with ongoing labour cost pressures has made the going tough for many operators. However, the prevalent trends of healthy, fresh, sustainable and convenient food continue to transform the entire food and drink industry and provides opportunities for operators that relentlessly focus on setting themselves apart from the rest of the competition.
The report focuses on the fastest-growing operators in the UK market, who while margins and top-line growth were below that of the prior year, continued to prove resilient.
For example, an analysis of more than 50 corporates active in the UK foodservice marketplace, highlights that average margins contracted in 2018 are for a third year running down from 5.9% to 5.8%, with average revenue growth also decreased from 14.8% to 9.6%.
There have been a number of acquisitions and further consolidation in the market, Just Eat’s acquisition of City Pantry points to the potential for disruption in corporate catering from delivered-in solutions with Sodexo also making moves in the area. The report also highlighted the growing importance of technology to the sector.