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Thu 11th Aug 2016 - Research highlights challenges for restaurant delivery business, supermarkets, tax and pubs to blame for pub closures
CGA Peach – maintaining quality and presentation of restaurant food being delivered is vital, opportunities to add drinks to offer: The importance of restaurants maintaining the quality and presentation of food being delivered has been highlighted in new report. Nearly 27 million people have had restaurant or takeaway food delivered in the UK over the past six months—and a third of them are increasing the frequency with which they do so, according to research by consultants CGA Peach. Its “Delivering Opportunities” report showed 26.8 million UK consumers have had hot restaurant food delivered to their home or workplace in the past six months. With the popularity of delivery specialists like Domino’s and internet-based aggregators like Deliveroo and JustEat soaring, numbers eating restaurant food at home are set to continue rising. Among CGA Peach’s sample, 35% of consumers indicated they have increased their usage of delivery in the past six months. But the growing business faces challenges, the research revealed, especially around food quality and delivery standards, while adding drinks to the service appeared to be a major opportunity for operators. The survey showed the delivery trend is being driven by young, city-based adults in particular with nearly two thirds (63%) of those aged under 35 now using a delivery service at least once a week. It also showed how delivery has become a major part of UK eating – virtually identical numbers now order delivery weekly (49%) and dine out weekly (50%). CGA Peach director Jamie Campbell said: “The delivery phenomenon has huge implications. Those who can deliver high quality food speedily, with efficient service and at a good price point can drive incremental business.” More than a third (38%) of consumers believed the standard of delivered food was worse than that served in restaurants. Four in five (83%) consumers said a bad delivery experience puts them off returning to a restaurant to eat in. More than two in five (43%) said they would order an alcoholic drink with their food delivery if the option were available to them. Campbell added: “Delivery is becoming a threat to some restaurant operators – but a better way to look at it is as a massive opportunity. Maintaining the quality and presentation of restaurant food is essential, and there is room to enhance the delivery offer further through things like alcoholic drinks. The industry’s big challenge now is to maintain consumer demand for eating out in restaurants while also meeting their needs when they choose to eat at home instead. It is a fine and difficult balance, and the operators who can work out how to strike it will be best placed in the years ahead.”

Supermarkets, tax and pubcos to blame for pub closures: Pubs are being forced out of business by cheap supermarket prices, high beer taxes and the high rents and wholesale beer prices charged by pub owning property companies, according to a new polling report on consumer perceptions from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). YouGov asked more than 2,000 Brits what they thought was leading to pubs closing – currently at a rate of 21 a week – on behalf of CAMRA. More than four-fifths (82%) said the cost of alcohol in supermarkets compared with pubs was a factor that had a fair, or great, impact on pub closures. The taxes levied on pubs, including beer duty, VAT and business rates also had a great, or fair, impact on forcing pubs out of business according to 69% of those surveyed. Almost 78% of people also blamed the high rents and wholesale beer prices charged to tenants by the pub owning property companies. CAMRA figures released at the start of the summer showed the rate of pub closures has slowed from 27 to 21 per week, but CAMRA chairman Colin Valentine said the rate of closures was still “alarming and unacceptably high”. Valentine added: “The survey findings highlight the issues that have driven CAMRA’s campaigning for many years now. We’ve long campaigned for a fairer deal for publicans from the property companies that own their pubs and have seen recent success in the introduction of the Pubs Code and the appointment of a Pubs Code adjudicator. People clearly agree with us that the level of tax charged on beer and on pubs is too high and needs to be addressed. Again, CAMRA and the beer and pub industry has seen some success in persuading the government to abolish the beer duty escalator and cut tax over the last few years, but ministers need to go further in supporting the industry. Despite these campaign wins, a pint in a local is becoming an unaffordable luxury, driving people away from the safe and social environment of the pub and encouraging them instead to drink cheap alcohol in their homes. We’d urge the government to continue to work to address what people see as the key issues threatening pubs. We’d also urge people to continue to support their local pubs as much as possible.”

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