Foodservice operators still feeling flummoxed by Brexit

Nisbets Pulse survey

It has been 14 months since Britain voted to leave the EU, but over half of caterers still remain unsure how Brexit is going to affect their business.

That’s according to catering equipment supplier Nisbets’ latest quarterly ‘Pulse’ survey of hospitality operators.

Some 53% of respondents said they still have no idea what impact Brexit will have on their business. Of those that have decided, just 19% believe that it will be for the better.

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One factor that is evident, however, is the increase in the cost of raw ingredients since Britain voted to leave the EU, with 65% of operators highlighting it as their biggest increase in expenditure.

Over a third of businesses (36%) indicated that this would ultimately have to be passed on to the customer through price increases, while 12% suggested that it would lead to them introducing stricter portion controls. Just 3% thought it would lead to staff cutbacks.

Interestingly, only 4% of respondents have noticed an increase in equipment costs, despite many manufacturers taking the opportunity to raise prices over the past 12 months.

With the uncertainty around Brexit, one third of operators were unsure as to whether they would be recruiting further in the second half of 2017, and of those that are, the positions being filled were largely front-of-house staff and general kitchen staff, rather than professional chef positions.

Recruitment continues to be one of the biggest challenges, with 40% of those interviewed highlighting that they have been forced to hire untrained staff in order to fill roles, while 25% have opted to increase the hours of existing staff.

Despite the lingering uncertainty surrounding Brexit, over half of operators (52%) described themselves as being ‘Very Positive’ about the year ahead.

The full survey can be viewed HERE.

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