UK restaurant and bar owners express highest optimism for two years

A recent CGA Fourth Business Confidence Survey carried out in May of this year by business insight consultancy CGA and prominent hospitality software provider Fourth, has revealed that restaurant and bar owners in the UK expressed their highest optimistic outlook of the eating and drinking market in the past two years. The survey contains responses from senior managers and owners from 160 companies in the eating and drinking out sector.

This is great news for businesses in the restaurant and bar sector – especially those that our Imbiba Leisure EIS Fund represents.

The survey noted that prospects are especially bright for those businesses with distinctive fare and excellent customer service, which are two attributes that are particularly prominent among Darwin & Wallace’s latest venture 601 Queens Rd which opened its doors in the heart of Wimbledon last week.

The results

The confidence survey found that 75% of the participating restaurant and bar representatives expressed optimism about their own business prospects. This optimism level is 11% higher than that expressed in the last confidence survey from February of this year.

Results highlighted confidence in the overall consumer demand for high-quality bars and restaurants over the next year.  47% of the respondents are expecting increased options in this sector. Confidence in the overall market is 11% higher than that expressed in February 2018 – the highest reported in the confidence survey since February 2016.

Christian Elmes, Partner at Enterprise Investment Partners and member of the board across a portfolio of bars and restaurants commented that this was a welcome piece of good news in what has been a tough 2018 for the industry but cautioned that the current market adjustment had not run its course. He concluded by saying:

“Owners operating from a well-located portfolio of sites, focusing on high levels of service, at a price their customers are willing to pay for will do well in any market conditions.”

CGA’s CEO, Phil Tate, said that food prices have become more stable recently. He believes that this stability is one of the reasons that businesses in the restaurant and bar industry are gaining more confidence. CGA’s data shows that people are continuing to go out to eat and drink. Tate suggests that:

“There is plenty of room for distinctive, customer-focused brands to succeed. After a tough start to 2018, this latest Business Confidence Survey is a welcome reminder that hospitality remains an essentially upbeat industry.”

Christian Elmes, Partner

Christian Elmes trained at PwC and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1999. In 2000, he moved to Morgan Stanley (2000-2002) as Associate in the Investment Banking Division (IBD).

Over the last ten years, Christian has been responsible for developing a number of tax efficient products. Particularly Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS). He is able to lead on tax efficient product development from inception through to completion, because of his financial and tax background and commercial experience.

Christian is a non-executive board member to a number of leisure and hospitality companies, Casper & Cole Ltd, Wright & Bell Ltd, Albion & East Ltd, Camm & Hooper Ltd and Darwin & Wallace Ltd.

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