The new Q3 CGA Business Confidence Survey in association with Fourth reveals business leader confidence is higher now than throughout most of the pandemic but recognises the urgent need for extended government support on tax, debt, and labour. Seven in ten (70%) restaurant, pub, and bar leaders feel optimistic about their businesses’ prospects for the next 12 months and none think that their business will not survive, but mounting costs and debts mean many firms remain vulnerable.
Almost all leaders (96%) envisage staff shortages in either FOH or BOH roles at the end of 2021 with 16% of staff roles currently vacant and all (99%) and three-quarters of businesses have offered better pay to increase staff retention.
In terms of supply, 99% of businesses are experiencing supply chain issues with reduced product lines, products failing to turn up, delays in deliveries and higher costs are all issues impacting a large majority of businesses. This is coupled with cost rises and the report found that 7 in 10 are seeing cost rises in food/drink and sub-contracted costs, with over half seeing a rise in the cost of doing business.
This means that, already, 3 in 4 businesses expect to pass these higher costs onto customers through price rises.
Although there are significant issues in staff and supply, the number of businesses currently turning a profit has risen considerably since Q2 2021, up to 69% from just 16% in Q2 with only 23% saying that performance is less than expected after re-opening.
Technology has been the big winner for hospitality with 9 in 10 businesses saying that they have found technology useful since re-opening, and 44% saying that it has been fundamental to their business since re-opening. Almost 1 in 3 say tech has become essential to their business, with a further 47% having improved their view of technology.