,UK

Chains told to prepare for autumn inflation spike

Lynx Purchasing also advised brands on potential shortages of menu items.

Catering and hospitality operators need to take steps to prepare for an “inevitable” spike in inflation across the rest of the year, as well as potential shortages of menu items, according to buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.

The warning comes as Lynx publishes a Summer Market Update looking at supply issues in the months ahead. 

“The ‘perfect storm’ is about to break,” Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson said. “The Bank of England is forecasting that inflation will hit 3% this autumn, other economists suggest 4%, and for some key food and drink sectors it’s like(ly) to be higher still.”

“The labour shortage, the impact of Brexit on imports, higher distribution and fuel costs, and the continuing impact of the Covid pandemic globally are all factors. The effect of inflation not only on costs, but also potentially on consumer confidence, coming as operators are working to rebuild after lockdown, is as serious as any challenge the sector has faced in recent years,” she added.

Chains were advised to buy UK produce in season “wherever possible,” Dobson said.

“Even for anyone who’s worked in purchasing for some time, this is as significant and widespread a challenge as we’ve seen. The same labour shortages hospitality is seeing on the front line stretch back through the supply chain via warehousing and distribution to picking and packing.”

Operators, she added, will have to factor in higher prices and potential shortages as they plan menus for the key Christmas period.

“For example, there’s a global shortage of cooking oil, which is not only a store cupboard staple in its own right, but an essential ingredient in many other products. Commodities such as rice, grain and coffee are traded globally, and prices inevitably go up when fuel and transport costs are high,” she said.

“It’s going to take a concerted effort to move forward. At government level, the problems of post-Brexit bureaucracy and the challenges of employing overseas labour have to be addressed. Internationally, the roll-out of COVID vaccines is key.”

Those who can keep their menus flexible, Dobson said, will be best placed to deal with rising prices.

“Operators may have to get used to better menu planning, more notice for suppliers, and fewer and bigger deliveries in future.”

Join QSRMedia UK community
Since you're here...

...there are many ways you can work with us to advertise your company and connect to your customers. Our team can help you dight and create an advertising campaign, in print and digital, on this website and in print magazine.

We can also organize a real life or digital event for you and find thought leader speakers as well as industry leaders, who could be your potential partners, to join the event. We also run some awards programmes which give you an opportunity to be recognized for your achievements during the year and you can join this as a participant or a sponsor.

Let us help you drive your business forward with a good partnership!

The restaurant will have a floor dedicated to takeaway transactions.
It is seeking franchisees interested in single or multi-unit operations immediately.
The pizza franchise already has over 500 stores in the UK.
The pop-up arrives roughly five months after the chain tried one in Cologne, Germany.
The chain’s rollout of outlets will see them reach nearly 100 UK sites by the end of summer 2022.
The chain, whose city centre outlets were hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions, describes the move as the next step in its ‘transformation” strategy.
This will be the brand’s 74th UK restaurant opening.
Flipdish UK country manager Fionn Hart makes a case for digital interface solutions as an answer.
The CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index predicts continued inflation over the remainder of 2021.
It is slated to have 100 restaurants over the next five years as part of a master franchise deal.
Its founder says the chain’s on the road to recovery.