One of the things that make the foodservice industry so exciting is its constantly changing and evolving nature. The arrival of a global pandemic and officially leaving the European Union has ensured that change was in no short supply over the past year and a half. But, how can changing market conditions affect your food business?
Market conditions relate to the attractiveness of the overall market in which a business operates. Market conditions tend to affect all businesses in an industry and when it comes to the foodservice industry, the more capable of adapting, the more fruitful your business will be in the long term.
So what is required in order to thrive in an ever-changing food and restaurant landscape? Let’s dive a little deeper…
- More flexibility in operations – the rise of commercial kitchens and home-based businesses
- More emphasis on employee health and food safety
- Creating a stronger community of restaurant owners, operators and staff members
- Introducing fresh, sustainable food business trends
Brexit and COVID-19: The Knock-on Effect
Last year, British food exports to the EU made up more than 70% of our total food exports, totalling £18bn per year. This equates to a massive 3.2bn litres of products shipped out to the EU each year.
Unsurprisingly, since leaving the EU, food shortages have been a growing concern in the UK and the impact of Brexit on food is already being felt on the UK menu. Fuelled additionally by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s restaurant industry is currently suffering from a shortage of fresh produce and a growing number of UK businesses are now facing an unexpected prospect. The Food Standards Agency is warning restaurants that they may be forced to lay off staff in a bid to bring back the standard of food prepared by the industry.
Now is the time for all food business owners to get their ducks in a row. As of 1st October 2021, new Brexit checks are set to come into effect and the food shortages look set to worsen. From that date, animal and plant products imported into the UK from the EU will require extra paperwork and border checks.
Technology is another influential factor in a changing landscape and the technology industry is evolving at a rapid pace. Restaurants may revolve around good quality food and service, but technology also plays a significant role in the food and hospitality industries – via payment methods, websites, QR codes, menus, mobile-app delivery services and even simple robots. Almost two-thirds of UK consumers say that they would rather dine out at restaurants with contactless or QR code payment options than those without.
Don’t get left behind! Be sure to invest in the latest high-tech gadgets and equipment to drive your food business forward.
A Little Taste of the Future
With delivery services keeping businesses afloat and creative dining approaches becoming more popularised, there are plenty of new and exciting trends expected to take place over the next few years that the food and drink industry can look forward to accommodating;
- In 2021 and 2022, the steady easing of lockdown restrictions is expected to boost revenue within the UK restaurant industry.
- Experts say that consumer desires to spend should see an uprise as COVID-19 fades, and most of their money will go towards the hospitality industry.
- Alfresco dining is also likely to attract customers, as there is less concern around viral infections being shared in confined indoor spaces.
- Plant-based food chains have continued to perform well in the UK, and are likely to remain in demand for the upcoming future.
- At-home fine dining is likely to be a common feature, where consumers can order food to be brought home and prepared by the consumers themselves.
- Functional, attractive, and mobile-friendly websites will become the biggest ambassadors for restaurants and other business types.
- In 2021 and beyond, locally sourced produce is going to be of more significance than before due to disrupted mega supply chains and consumer demand to keep things local.
Flexible operations and processes, contactless payments and QR codes, high-engagement websites and social media platforms, superior delivery services and of course, high-quality products are expected to frame the future of the food industry – not just within the UK, but for the world as a whole.
At Dephna, we offer commercial kitchen spaces with 24-hour access and commission-free deliveries. If you’re looking to adapt to the ever-changing market conditions and are interested in renting one of our flexible commercial kitchens, dark kitchens or modular cold rooms, book a visit to one of our prime London kitchen locations now.