Brave New World: What the Experts Have to Say on Brexit

Following the unexpected referendum result, the UK now begins the immense task of charting a new relationship with Europe. With impacts expected in everything from the labour market to the food market we have collected some thoughts from industry experts on the likely effects on QSRs.

Firstly, the good news. Craig Allen, Co-Founder of hospitality recruitment company The Change Group believes that the hospitality employment market will remain relatively stable. In fact, he thinks that "we may see a short term influx of EU nationals coming into the UK before any potential changes are announced". In addition, "foreign nationals in the UK should not worry as it is unlikely their status will change". This would indicate that employers should not worry about labour supply in the short to medium term.

However, there the good news ends, as a weakening pound and lower growth will conspire to dampen growth.

Speaking after the results were announced, Peter Backman, Managing Director of Horizons said "Notably for foodservice, the pound will remain volatile and will trade at lower rates than over the last few years. Consumer sentiment will probably remain depressed, costs will be elevated.

The foodservice sector will be less buoyant than it would have otherwise been – but the impact is likely to be felt differently in different areas of the business. Sectors that could benefit include tourism-related business including hotels and leisure, while restaurants, QSR and pubs could lose out. However, profitability, and therefore investment in the sector, is now under threat.

Overall we could be facing reduced sales, increased costs and lower demand from the home market and while this could be offset to a small degree by more foreign tourists coming here due to the fall in the value of the pound, the eating out market now faces less growth than we predicted for this year and next".

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