Brexit developments are keeping the nation glued. As the story unfolds, it could be difficult to keep track of the aspects of the food, catering and hospitality industries. We talked to catering supplies specialists Nisbets, who recently surveyed 823 professionals about Brexit’s impact on their businesses. Here are some takeaways from the interview.
Uncertainty ensues everywhere
Most survey respondents are still unsure about the overall impact that Brexit will have on their businesses. 300 respondents answered the question about Brexit’s uncertain impact on the economy. Of then 53% are completely clueless about the impact while 19% believe that the impact will be negative. 9% respondents believe that the impact would be ‘very positive’ while another 9% believe that it could be ‘very negative’.
66% of these respondents were unsure about Brexit’s effect on their customers. Here too, 9% respondents believed the response will be very positive while 4% think it will be very negative.
Unparalleled rise in prices
286 people responded to the question of cost rise. Of them, 65% noted rise in cost of raw materials. There was an overall increase in the price of labor, business rates, equipment and rent since Brexit was announced. The Independent also published a report recently, suggesting that food prices rose the fastest in three years in March 2017.
The professionals have no other option but to increase the prices of their offerings. 38% respondents believed that a rise in price was essential to keep up with the cost. About 13% also focused on portion control and purchase of local produce.
What experts expect from Brexit
The Guardian reports that the catering industry will have a hard time recruiting people post-Brexit. This is because many cafes, restaurants and hotels depend largely on EU-born and non-EU born workers. The UK is still unsure of the status of EU nationals in the UK. If there are problems with citizenship or work visas or if the pound collapses after the divorce, hiring talent could be harder.
Another report by Big Hospitality mentions that supplier contracts will also be under stress after the exit. Trade will become more complex as the single market trade policies will cease to exist. This could hamper the working relationships of hospitality businesses too.
Could Brexit be positive for the UK?
The Brexit picture looks very grim for the people. However, is it likely that it has a positive impact on catering and hospitality businesses. According to The Guardian and The Independent, there could be a ray of hope. Searches for staycations in the UK have risen by 23.8% in the recent past.
This is because people now have lesser disposable income and the foreign exchange rate is unfavorable for the British. This could likely bring an influx of foreign tourists, especially from the EU who could bring business.
If the business owners can manage their costs and labor, then Brexit could bring them a new set of opportunities too. It is only a matter of time when the real impact of the divorce unfolds. Till then, businesses can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best.