Current Restaurant Business In London

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Current Restaurant Business in London

Current Restaurant Business in London


London's restaurant sector seems to be showing signs of growth ahead of the first ever London Restaurant Festival (8-13 October), however, the still-felt chill of the recession calls for increased support for the Capital's restaurants. That's the message according to Business Link in London's monthly Restaurant Barometer - an online poll of more than 200 restaurants in the Capital gauging how they are faring in the current economic climate. As part of a new industry engagement programme, Business Link in London has partnered with some of London's top hospitality experts: Visit London, The British Hospitality Association, Top Table, Hardens Guide, and Service Science to produce the latest Restaurant Barometer and provide enhanced support for London's restaurants.


Encouragingly, the September barometer results showed resilience and signs of growth from London's restaurants during what still proves to be a tough economic time. The end of the summer holiday period and fine weather saw a boost in trade for many restaurants. Compared to August, customer numbers were up for 46% of restaurants, a quarter saw customer spend increase, and a total of 48% of restaurants reported a rise in profits.

However, when compared with the same time last year before the full impact of the recession had taken hold, the business environment remains fragile. Approximately half (53%) reported a decrease in their profits, customer numbers (49%) and in customer spend (44%).

Ashley de Safrin, Business Adviser for the Hospitality Sector, at Business Link in London, said: “It's encouraging to see that nearly half of our respondents are recording an increase in profits compared to August.” “These results show that the restaurant sector continues to remain resilient in the face of the economic climate with 75% of respondents remaining profitable in this time. “The recession continues to affect the industry however, particularly in areas such as customer spend. Customers remain cautious and the majority are opting for tap water with many seeking special offers and promotions.”

“To maintain growth levels and keep the results improving, it is essential that people get behind the restaurant sector as much as possible, which is why we have partnered with hospitality experts to provide increased support.” Ashley has two key pieces of advice to help restaurants continue to manage through the recession. “Restaurateurs should be watching costs very closely. They should be exercising a great deal of caution in their forecasting over the next six months and doing as much marketing as possible. The poll found that only half of the respondents have a website.

"Developing a website and enabling people to make bookings online are vital tools to help restaurants succeed.  Events such as London's Restaurant Festival are also great ways to garner local support for the industry and market a business."

Sally Chatterjee, Interim CEO Visit London said: “This has been a tough year across the tourism industry however, with positive initiatives like the London Restaurant Festival we are hoping to generate a buzz about London's restaurant ...
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