According to the report, operators are cutting fewer costs in 2014 than they have done in previous years, and increasing staff numbers; indicating a surge in public confidence and a willingness to enjoy a night out, particularly at weekends.
Emma Read, Horizons’ director of marketing and business development, said: “Our last operator survey [May 2014] showed that businesses were much more optimistic about future trading, with a third expecting increases in food sales. Six months on, their optimism has been proved correct, with the majority of respondents reporting an actual rise in food and drink sales and confidence in the sector even higher.”
The perception of average spend per head has also increased significantly in 2014, with the number of consumers spending £12-£16 rising from 12% in 2013 to 18% in 2014.
Read continued: “While this indicates that fewer meals deals and promotional offers are available, it also reflects the fact that the consumer mindset is starting to change. No longer is price as paramount as it once was – consumer confidence is returning and, with that, comes a new willingness amongst diners to treat themselves to a meal out without worrying quite so much about the cost.”
These results came from a survey of 292 foodservice professionals interviewed between September 17 and October 6 2014.