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< Back to news 03 January, 2009

Hospitality Businesses Focus on Food

Figures just released by Beacon, the UK’s largest purchasing consortium for the independent hospitality industry, suggest that hospitality businesses in general are concentrating on food and catering
With nearly 2,000 members throughout the UK, Beacon’s purchasing figures are a good representation of trends within the independent hospitality and catering trade.

Its statistics for 2004 show a marked increase in expenditure on food, up 11% from 2003 – a trend that has been apparent since 2002.

The number of people eating out on a regular basis has risen significantly in recent years, with 25% of meals now eaten outside the home. The Beacon figures suggest that hotels, bars and leisure operators are tapping in to this demand by providing competitive and appealing menus to rival dedicated restaurant businesses – reflected in the rising investment in catering products and services.

Claire Bennett, Marketing Manager for Beacon comments: “As the largest purchasing organisation for this sector, what our members are buying is a fairly accurate reflection of what is happening throughout the industry – and the major trend that we have seen in the past three years is the increased focus on food as a revenue stream.

“The trend for quality catering spreading outside the core restaurant sector has been a feature of the hospitality industry for several years now and it looks like this is set to continue.”

Unsurprisingly, expenditure on utilities and services is also increasing – rising by nearly 20% in 2004 from 2003 – which is likely to be an indicator of the impact of increases in energy prices. More members are also using Beacon for their utility purchasing to ensure they are getting the best deals available in a constantly changing market.

Spending on refurbishment and maintenance also went up dramatically last year with a 60% rise which could suggest that hospitality businesses are feeling the need to differentiate in a competitive market by investing in décor and furnishings.

Claire adds, “It’s evident from the statistics that the appearance and ambiance of hospitality establishments is more important than ever, which in many ways reflects the current popularity of interior design coming through in customer preferences.”