As Brexit negotiation deadlines are coming closer, business owners are Britain are concerned about the impact this decision could have on them. By now, it is clear that many businesses will have to suffer during the EU divorce. But is the hospitality and catering sector one of them? Let’s find out with the help of catering supplies specialists Nisbets who are sharing key points from a recent survey of 823 professionals.
We don’t know what will happen
While speculations about the EU divorce are ripe and many businessmen are afraid of the consequences, nobody really knows if it will be a boon or a curse. Out of the 300 respondents who answered the question about Brexit’s overall impact on their businesses, 53% said that they were quite unsure. In fact, 9% respondents said they believe the impact will be very negative. 9% believe it will be very positive. 66% of these 300 respondents were not even sure of the effect on their customers.
Rising costs and sky-high prices
The Independent published a report recently in which it analyzed food price rises in the past few years. They noted that prices rose sharply in March 2017, showing the biggest increase in the past three years. This is clearly the impact of Brexit. The professionals share a similar view of the situation. About 65% survey respondents claimed a rise in price of raw materials. Others experienced rise in rent, labor costs and even business costs.
The plan to absorb these high prices is to increase food prices, as per 38% of the respondents. About 15% believe that they will be reducing food wastes while the same number of respondents focused on portion control and purchase of locally produced raw materials to combat the rising prices.
Experts predict that tough times are ahead
Until the Brexit negotiations take final shape and the country finally prepares for the divorce, it could be very difficult to predict what happens to the catering industry. However, experts have analyzed the situation for the industry and the prospects aren’t bright.
The catering industry employs 1.9 million workers out of whom 6,34,000 are not UK nationals. In fact, most of them are from EU. The Brexit negotiations have to do something about citizenship and work laws. If the EU workforce leaves, UK catering will be in trouble, per The Guardian. There are chances of the pound collapsing in relation to the major currencies which could discourage people outside of the EU to fill in these jobs.
Big Hospitality notes that supplier contracts for the hospitality sector will also be impacted negatively as the single market trade policies cease to exist. This could create panic and havoc in the hospitality industry.
Amidst these speculations, The Independent also found that searches for staycations have increased by 23.8%, as exchange rates have become unfavorable and people have lesser disposable incomes. The hospitality sector could benefit from the rise in staycation searches, notes The Guardian. As the influx of EU tourists rises, there could be hidden opportunities for UK hospitality and catering businesses.