7 Jan 2019 by Charles Manners
The world of catering continues to change, and our thoughts for 2019 are below, a combination of what we hear from clients, customers and the press!
- The use of technology will continue to shape the customer experience; from customers being able to order and pay for food and drink at the table to back office efficiencies and providing management information. The end of the servery may become a reality;
- Labour costs are the one controllable cost all operators have to contend with skills in short supply, Living Wage increases and increased pension contributions. This will lead to above average wage inflation and reducing payroll costs will be imperative through design and planning and technology;
- Reducing plastic, e.g. wrapping; canned drinks and no clingfilm;
- The importance of identifying allergens has recently been in the news (for all the wrong reasons), and the regulations for freshly produced food will only increase; sadly this may hinder creativity and surely technology is the answer to the challenge;
- Plant based foods and organic products will play an increasing role as health & well-being comes higher up people’s agendas;
- Local & artisan producers will continue to gain popularity.
Both food inflation and staffing with Brexit is an unknown quantity; however understanding one’s supply chain and reducing the reliance on European products and sourcing alternative worldwide suppliers where possible is recommended.
With so many of our clients in the ‘experience’ business the recent Barclaycard research where 50% of consumers would rather spend money on entertainment and events than material things; and 52% of consumers would rather tell a friend about an experience than a purchase they have made highlights the need to continually ‘surprise and delight’ the customer. The influence of social media promotes the attitude “I want to share experiences and promote my lifestyle”.