FEA chief executive Keith Warren has revealed the foodservice equipment industry’s predictions for the economic health of the industry.
During yesterday’s Specifi webinar, called ‘Ready for the Reinvention’, Warren detailed the results of the ‘State of the Market’ survey FEA sent to a cross-section of the sector. The 30 respondents included representatives from manufacturers, distributors and importers, resellers, dealers and service companies.
The results showed that 37% of respondents believe that their sales levels will return to around 50% of their figures prior to the coronavirus crisis by December 2020. Some were more optimistic, with 19% predicting a 70% recovery, while a further 19% forecasted just a 40% level.
Looking further out, the majority of those surveyed suggested that by June 2021, sales could have returned to 70% or 80% of pre-covid numbers, but a significant proportion downgraded this prediction to about 50-60%.
And by December 2021, in 18 months’ time, the majority of respondents feel that sales will finally match pre-covid revenue, though 40% still feel it will only be between 50-80%.
Warren analysed: “This is suggesting perhaps more of a hockey stick recovery rather than the V-shaped recovery that the economists were predicting.” Hockey stick growth is sudden and extremely rapid growth after a long period of linear growth.
He continued: “The industry doesn’t see that there’s a quick recovery, but the optimism is there, loaded more towards 18 months.
“It seems to be a fairly staged recovery. It’s fair to argue that that probably fits with the reopening of the hospitality industry, given that the distancing measures mean that not all sites are going to open and trade at 100% capacity on 4 July onwards.
“We’re hearing that many sites are choosing not to open so that they can gauge the market and what the trends might be, and can lean towards an economic trading picture when they do come out of this.”
In terms of the existing economic impact of coronavirus on the catering equipment supply chain, the survey’s respondents reported that no business saw a decrease of less than 50% in sales.
Warren noted: “The figures are catastrophic as far as our industry is concerned.”
Other panelists in Specifi’s ‘Ready for the Reinvention’ webinar on 24 July comprised include Jack Sharkey, MD, Vision Commercial Kitchens; Scott Jones sales and key account director EMEA, True Manufacturing; Graham Kille, sales director, Rational UK; Nic Banner vice president sales UK and Ireland, Specifi and Bob Wolters, CEO, Specifi Global. More coverage from the event will follow.