Street food set to boost UK’s eating out sector

The rise in popularity of street food, coffee shops and new fast food outlets is set to result in the UK’s eating out sector rising by three per cent in value this year, it has been claimed.
 
The figures should provide a boost to the industry and suggest that more companies will look to create hospitality and catering jobs in the coming months in order to keep up with demand.

According to the latest Market Outlook report from Allegra Foodservice, revenues from people choosing to go out for food are set to rise by three per cent over the next 12 months to reach £82.5 billion, marking the highest level of growth since the beginning of the recession.

The report also found that there had been a quickening in expansion of new branded restaurants and managed pub chains from 4.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

However, despite the hospitality and catering industry being positive about current market conditions and three quarters expecting to see an improvement in trade throughout the rest of the year, most insiders in the sector forecast that a full recovery will not take place until around autumn 2015.

Looking ahead, the report suggested that the main factor affecting growth in the industry is likely to be increased competition, while rising food costs are also expected to pose problems.

Reacting to the figures, Simon Stenning, strategy director at Allegra Foodservice, said: “Eating out market value growth of three per cent in 2014 will be the highest since the recession began and is clearly welcome news. This will come from a combination of increasing consumer eating out participation, an uptick in visit frequency and some average spend gains as consumers start to feel more confident about their personal finances and spending power.

“However, the growth will be hard fought for in an increasingly competitive trading environment and gains will be patchy across the market. The onus on operators will remain innovating on product, refining menu price architectures and adding greater value across the consumer experience to build stronger customer loyalty.”

By Owen Mckeon
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