Robust kit key to future of foodservice

Durability is just one of many factors that an operator will consider when purchasing new equipment — but it could be elevated in the list of priorities if long-term restaurant trends materialise.

Research house Horizons has predicted that the future for foodservice lies with longer opening hours and maximising space.

Managing director, Peter Backman, believes that restaurant and pub operators will look to extend their opening hours to appeal to consumers at any time of the day, from breakfast through to late-night dinner.

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Backman revealed his vision of the foodservice sector to attendees at a British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF) marketing seminar in Reading earlier today, forecasting that outlets will have to open for longer hours in order to meet customer needs.

If it materialises, the trend is likely to have implications for the catering equipment market, as operators will be putting appliances through their paces for longer periods each day. It also raises the prospect that products may need to be serviced or replaced on a more frequent basis.

Horizons’ predictions also reinforce the view that many operators are looking to source equipment that can fit into as small a footprint as possible.

Backman said operators would be forced to utilise their space more efficiently in future, with larger outlets running several concepts from a single unit, such as a takeaway option, quick service food and sit-down restaurant.

“Looking five or 10 or more years down the line, the cost of rents and overheads will encourage operators to truly maximise the space they have, making each square foot of their premises contribute to boosting turnover in order to improve profitability,” he said.

Backman also said that it was likely that some of the larger pub and restaurant operators would sell off their sub-brands in order to concentrate on a single concept.

“It’s going to be ever-more important for operators to concentrate on what they do well, and shed what they don’t do so well,” he added. “The future is going to be about the offer, the quality of that offer and how profitable the concept is.”

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