TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, UK

Technology and health challenge out-of-home food and drink sector

Healthy lifestyles are transforming the way consumers eat out, while hospitality is facing a post-Brexit crisis in recruitment.

Those are among the key findings of the third edition of Future Shock, the exclusive series of insights into the UK’s eating and drinking out sectors from CGA and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), which has recently re-branded as UKHospitality following a merger with the British Hospitality Association.

Health issues are having a significant impact on the market too, with three in five out-of-home diners saying they proactively try to lead a healthy lifestyle. Research showing falling alcohol consumption and rising demand for soft drinks highlights the need to cater for health-conscious consumers, and young urban people in particular.

The report identifies several challenges facing the out-of-home eating and drinking out markets, including rising property and people costs, and warns of a looming crisis in staffing as a result of Brexit. With non-British nationals accounting for nearly a quarter of employees in hospitality and tourism — rising to nearly two thirds in London — operators will be closely watching the outcome of Brexit negotiations and planning strategies to improve their recruitment and retention.

Future Shock draws on CGA’s extensive research to provide a host more facts, figures and analysis casting light on out-of-home eating and drinking, including a 14.9% increase in Britain’s food-led licensed premises in the last five years, to around 45,500. 47% of British consumers are now eating out at least once a week and• 45.5% of pubs and bars’ sales now derived from food.

CGA business unit director Jamie Campbell said, “This is a time of huge change in out-of-home eating and drinking, and our latest edition of Future Shock spotlights three of the most pressing issues: technology, health and Brexit. Understanding these and the many other trends uncovered by CGA’s research is going to be crucial for all operators in the months and years ahead.”

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said, “This has been a very busy year for the sector, with battles on business rates, Living Wage, lease reform, apprenticeship levy and the sugar tax. In the battle for share of voice within government, insight, intelligence and information are king, and that is why the Future Shock series is so important.”

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