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  • Writer's picturePeter Backman


An absence of real news across the foodservice sector underlines a sense of lockdown. It’s as if everyone is waiting for something to happen. Is it Brexit? Better times? Or a more confident consumer?

Restaurant chains are not providing information about their current performance, partly due to the absence of quoted companies and partly, I suspect, through an unwillingness to share disappointing news. The pub sector on the other hand is more open with its current figures, due to more quoted operators and is performing reasonably well on food sales.

it is difficult to feel positive about overall prospects in the next two quarters but fast food and food-to-go operators have some good news to spread around and there are other opportunities - in hotels, the leisure sector, care homes for example – where growth is still to be found.

Under the surface, inflation is stabilising – food and beverage costs are showing modest increases overall, the yearly adjustments to minimum wages lead to an uplift in employment costs in the last quarter but because minimum wage levels are increased each year, the overall effect on annual labour cost inflation was limited. Property costs have been falling slightly in light of the property woes in the high street.

In this issue of QBR, I take the opportunity to discuss some of the issues identified by Future Restaurant - an initiative I launched earlier this year to provide a collaborative forum for restaurant C-suite executives and investors to explore the future shape of their investments in the sector.

The six key issues I look at are:

- Reputational damage

- Absence of funding

- Property

- Overcapacity

- Delivery

- Labour

To find out more about the full QBR report and Future Restaurant, please contact me on 07785 242809 or email me at



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