There will clearly be some impact of Brexit on the Industry, and common consensus it that that will be felt mainly in terms of:
1. Higher food cost prices, leading to higher menu prices
2. Higher cost of labour, also leading to more expensive drinks and food dishes
Personally, and talking from experience, I do not think that the impact will be quite as severe as many think, but whatever the ultimate impact, that will be what we must deal with. We will have no choice but to deal with it.
The impact will be widespread, so it will affect the industry as a whole, and not just in specific sectors or geographies.
One thing is for sure, and that is that if either wages or food/drink costs do rise, so will the selling prices that the industry must charge to stay in business.
We will have no choice BUT to increase prices. For many, it will be that, or go out of business.
It is all very well for 60% of the public to point towards offering higher wages, but many food and drink businesses are already on the brink, and higher wages may just push them over that Profitability ‘’cliff-edge’’.
In my opinion, and with my 30+ years of Mentoring/Consultancy experience, the biggest danger to our Industry at present is that very same; cost of Wages.
For some political parties to claim that, by coming to power they would immediately increase the Minimum Wage and abolish Zero Hours Contracts, my advice would be to think very carefully about how and when to do that, because if you do that immediately, you will also immediately put a large number of current employees right out of work, and send them towards possible dependency on the benefits system.
Yes, it would be better to increase the number of Apprentices in the Industry, as long as that can be done without endangering the very existence of the firms that employ those apprentices.
We need to be focussing on HELPING this Industry that provides so very many jobs to skilled but also low-skilled and unskilled workers, such that newcomers do have real potential to develop into the business leaders of tomorrow. Wellness for staff as well as for owners/managers should always also be top priority so we can see more entering the profession with the positive image that Hospitality should rightly project.