A new industry report from catering equipment supplier Nisbets has identified an overarching sense of positivity within the sector as 2017 comes to an end.
The Autumn 2017 Nisbets Pulse Survey reveals a strong feeling of business positivity from the more than 400 catering professionals surveyed.
Of the surveyed participants, 76% claim to be on-track to hit their planned growth in 2017, while 80% revealed that they have a slightly, or very, positive outlook for their business in 2018.
According to the Bristol-based catering equipment firm, the successful financial findings were driven by an increase in UK mini breaks and ‘staycations’, with many respondents highlighting diversification into new areas, such as street-food, as key reasons for their optimism.
The latest Nisbets Pulse survey also examined how the industry chooses to promote their business and what they consider to be the most effective methods of marketing.
Nisbets found that Word of mouth (WOM), social media and a business website are the three most impactful, with 34% seeing WOM as the key influencer.
This is backed up further by the impact of customer review sites, as 72% of those surveyed felt that TripAdvisor had had a positive impact on their business.
The firm also found that Facebook resonates with the industry as 52% of respondents prefer to use this platform to market their business, followed by 20% using Twitter and 18% using Instagram.
When surveyed about the menu offering, a further 60% of those surveyed reported that the number one food trend of healthy eating was actually impacting their costs and/or profits. This follows on from the Spring Pulse Survey, where 65% of respondents felt that the cost of raw ingredients had risen sharply since the UK voted to leave the EU.
Overall, the catering industry is anticipating a positive 2018, despite some uncertainty around Brexit and the impact of increasing costs. Keeping ahead of evolving food trends and engaging customers via excellent service and experiences as well as interaction via social media, appears to be the way that the industry is currently prospering.