Sustainability and support for skills and training remain the key issues for UK catering businesses, according to a new report.
UKHospitality, in partnership with Bidfood, has launched the latest edition of its Food Service Management Market Report, outlining key challenges and opportunities for the catering sector.
The latest edition of the report shows that, in 2018, the UK’s FSM sector saw a turnover of £10.9 billion and employment growing to 293,000.
Dr Andrew Kemp MBE FIH, group sales and marketing director at Bidfood, commented: “We are encouraged this year to see contract catering, and the hospitality sector in general, rise above the political uncertainty that has been haunting us, and to read of a buoyant and confident industry with the right mindset and ambition to continue playing its crucial role as an engine of growth for the UK economy.
“The report also highlights a sector which is clearly focused on getting to grips with pressing issues like climate change, allergen management, attracting talent and driving diversity, and how vital it is for us to work closely together and engage with government to achieve this, and support UKHospitality in its work as a voice for our industry.”
UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, added: “Contract catering is a hugely important aspect of the UK’s hospitality sector and a vital component of the country’s economy. It arguably does not always get the recognition it deserves, though, as other areas of the sector tend to hog the headlines.
“This report shows that catering makes an incredibly valuable contribution and acts as a pillar which supports a great many aspects of hospitality and a variety of other sectors both public and private.”
Mrs Nicholls said the report demonstrates that, with a supportive trading environment, turnover in the catering sector could reach £12.1billion by 2022.
It could also be employing 311,000 people by 2020, underscoring why its importance as a provider of jobs and investment around the UK should be a key concern for government.
She continued: “Like any sector, contract catering has had to evolve and adjust to changing demands and pressures. This year’s report gives us a snapshot of the challenges and opportunities catering businesses are facing. Much like the rest of hospitality, and indeed the wider economy, sustainability, staffing shortages, the influence of technology and the need for supportive measures from Westminster have all made an impact.”