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Tue 18th Dec 2018 - Business leader optimism under pressure across eating and drinking-out sector
Business leader optimism under pressure across eating and drinking-out sector: Business confidence among leaders of Britain’s eating and drinking-out market remains strained, according to the latest edition of the CGA Business Confidence Survey, produced in partnership with Fourth. Although more than three-fifths (63%) are optimistic about their own business’ prospects for the next 12 months, this is a fall from 69% recorded in the last poll in July. Less than two-fifths (39%) are upbeat about the market as a whole during the same period, although this is a rise from 36% in July following a temporary jump to 47% in May. Almost two-fifths (38%) of leaders said their performance during the past six months had been ahead of expectations – a rise of nine percentage points from three months earlier. A similar number (39%) said they had traded in line with expectations, with less than one-quarter (23%) trading below expectations. However, pessimism surrounds footfall in 2019 with half (50%) of leaders predicting a decrease in the frequency of consumers eating and drinking out, and only one in 20 (5%) expecting a rise. The downbeat assessment comes amid growing concerns over the impact of Brexit on consumer confidence. More than two-thirds (69%) of wet-led companies feel optimistic about prospects for their business – compared with 63% of food-led businesses – following a strong period of trading for pubs compared with restaurants. The survey also revealed consumers’ two most important priorities in 2019 will be service and experience, ahead of food quality and value for money. More than half (55%) of operators said healthy options had increased in importance, while 50% said sustainability was a growing priority. CGA group chief executive Phil Tate said: “Our survey reflects a complex and mixed picture in the market at the moment. Many businesses continue to find conditions extremely challenging and confidence clearly remains fragile as the year ends. Christmas trading will have an enormous impact on levels of optimism as we enter 2019. Many wet-led pubs are clearly buoyant at the moment, riding high on the hot summer and World Cup and anticipating a strong festive period. However our survey shows, like all operators, they will need to stay resolutely focused on the consumer next year – supplying not just good food and drink but embracing key trends and delivering the high-quality, all-round experiences guests now demand.” Fourth chief executive Ben Hood said: “Despite the lingering uncertainty of Brexit, the results show the confidence of hospitality operators remains steady as they prepare for the year ahead.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A dip in business confidence is not surprising given the instability UK businesses are facing. It is not likely to return any time soon if businesses continue to be left in the dark about their futures. We need a resolution to the mess of Brexit as soon as possible in order to give businesses a chance to plan and deal with the consequences.”

Deliveroo devises solution for restaurant partners to make pizza boxes more recyclable: Deliveroo has devised a solution for its restaurant partners to make pizza boxes more recyclable. Grease-stained pizza boxes can contaminate an entire recycling chain and Deliveroo is offering 100,000 biodegradable greaseproof paper inserts to pizza partners as part of a trial to help keep boxes recyclable. Restaurant partners can request the free inserts, which prevent grease getting into the base of the pizza box, while all Deliveroo Editions pizza partners will use them. Deliveroo UK and Ireland managing director Dan Warne said: “Many people are surprised to find the food from their pizza can hinder their ability to recycle the box after they have eaten. We hope by working with our partners to make this small change we can inform consumers and save their pizza boxes from landfill.” Anne Main, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Prevention of Plastic Waste, added: “Proactive steps such as this will help reduce the number of pizza boxes that would have been recycled from being put into general waste. I hope all pizza restaurants on the Deliveroo platform use the greaseproof paper and that we see a real change in our recycling habits across the country.”

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