Foodservice sector will continue to “point downwards” for the next two quarters: analyst

However, Peter Backman says food to go, food in pubs and restaurant delivery will continue to do “significantly better”.

The outlook for the foodservice sector to “continues to darken” amidst impact of Brexit uncertainties on consumer and business confidence, with the market continuing to point downwards for the next two quarters, according to foodservice analyst Peter Backman.

Reviewing the first quarter of the year, he said that January was slower than usual but the better weather generated a small boost in March. Growth figures were positive compared to last year at “face value”, but sales plummeted during the onset of the Beast from the East in the same quarter in 2018.

However, the squeeze on operator margins has eased over the quarter and sales in some sectors have outperformed the overall eating out market, such as food-to-go and food sales in pubs.

“Delivery continued to expand amid indications that the costs of delivery are hurting many operators, while the rise of dark kitchens operating under “virtual brands” is providing unwelcome competition for high street restaurants,” he explained.

“Things are likely to remain tough in the coming months for the commercial sector. But figures and trends indicate that food to go, food in pubs and restaurant delivery will continue to do significantly better than the overall market.”

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