ResDiary on Brexit and hospitality

We’re getting quite far into 2019 and like T May, we’re really not sure what the heck is going to happen with Brexit. We did think about getting an expert in to talk about it, but we realised that at this stage, there are no Brexit experts. So we brought in Greg.

All jokes aside, Greg McKenzie is our UK sales manager who spends a large portion of his week travelling the length and breadth of the country. Talking daily to restaurateurs, he hears regularly about their concerns and what they’re doing to prepare for Brexit. We sat down and got his take on the situation:

When Brexit first came up in conversation a couple of years ago, most people were quite ambivalent, either thinking it would’t happen or it wouldn’t affect their business. However, as time’s gone on, a lot more worries have cropped up, mainly staffing and supply. People are unsure what’s going to happen and they’re worried about how their business will cope. 

However, I regularly talk to businesses that are expanding or people who are in the process of their first opening, so not everyone is doom and gloom about the situation. Lots of existing businesses are looking ahead and making plans and there are a few things they seem to be focusing on: 

Staffing

While we’re all aware there may be some staffing issues following Brexit, smart businesses are doing their best to keep the good people that they have and thinking of ways they can bring great team members in. They’re training staff better, putting incentives like healthcare in place, and looking at how they can attract new talent. You might think that some of this sounds expensive but there’s plenty of ways to cut costs. Many people are aware it will be tougher to recruit good staff, but very few feel it’s an impossible situation as long as they plan in advance. 

Supply

A concern for specialist restaurants like Italians and tapas bars that require produce from overseas you just can’t get here, supply has been a focus for many other types of business too. I’ve heard from many people that they’re looking to switch to more local produce, buying from suppliers near them, and revising their menus. From the consumer’s point of view, it will mean more seasonal menus as local suppliers just won’t stock things we normally get from overseas. This can definitely be a positive. It could also mean more money going into local communities, something we can all get behind. 

Saving on costs

Everyone is aware that there’s likely to be a hike in prices for many things, at least for a while after Brexit. It’s meant that operators are looking closely at all the ways they can save money, while not compromising on quality. I’ve been talking to a lot of commission-paying restaurateurs who are looking to save money on an unnecessary expense and are considering, or signing up to ResDiary. It’s happening right across the board too: a friend of mine in the industry worked extra hours (on top of his usual extra hours) going through their P&L line by line last week to see what areas they could reasonably cut back on.

When all is said and done, none of us can predict the future, but we can prepare for it. That’s why we’ve written a full ebook on the subject of Brexit. It contains industry insights and some essential top tips for looking to a post-Brexit future.”

Download the Brexit and hospitality ebook now 

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