Time to invest in your catering business?

Johnson Reed
3m read
time to invest in catering

One of the biggest hit sectors of the covid-19 pandemic was the catering industry. Once the highly infectious disease was starting to spread like wildfire in March 2020, the writing was on the wall for the catering industry. The lockdown brought along mass closures, with further problems arising when places did re-open due to a reduction in willingness to mix with groups outside of their household. 2 years on and things seem to be returning back to ‘normal’. Takeaway figures, which rose drastically during the lockdown, have fallen 24% from this time last year, showing an indication that consumer behaviour is shifting now Covid restrictions continue to relax, with more people opting to eat out.

There are some really positive signs going on in the industry that may be of interest to companies uncertain about the economic outlook. A recent study by the Coffer CGA Business Tracker highlighted that Britain’s managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved a 4% increase in like-for-like sales from pre-Covid-19 levels in March (Catering Today). This is during a period of high inflation in the economy which alludes to the point that even with higher prices in the industry, consumers are beginning to spend more and are showing signs of increased confidence – which is music to all business owners’ ears! A big player in the catering industry, JD Wetherspoon, have revealed that they are planning in investing £750 million in extensions and new sites over the next decade as the company believes the economy is “returning back to somewhat normal”. A large player in the industry believing good times are ahead is a good sign for SME’s that are experiencing uncertainty around the future and whether now is the time to invest.

More good news coming from a brokers perspective is that slowly but surely, we are starting to see the phones ringing again after a long period of low confidence and business owners are starting to look to the future and benefit from the post-pandemic consumer confidence. On top of this, people are starting to realise that an easy way to access cash flow is by getting equipment on finance, leaving the business with more money – which in turn can help soften the pandemic punch.

One business owner we are working with currently is Gregory. Gregory is a pub owner, who we have worked with in the past, but are currently helping him lease equipment for his pub “The Tavern” down in Great Yarmouth. Just in time for summer, we were able to help Gregory lease some outdoor furniture and some cloth-based awnings for his beer garden

The Tavern pubWhen speaking to Gregory he told us that Covid-19 had a “massive impact” on all 7 of his pubs, as they were forced to close across the board. Now however, Gregory has seen an increase of “20% in year-on-year takings, excluding the pandemic year”, and sees this as a perfect time to invest as he is a firm believer of “investing when your busy” to create a snowball effect of business success! The choice to use leasing for his outdoor equipment was a no-brainer as he benefited from “increased flexibility” as he was able to “free up cash flow in the business” whilst telling us the main reason was due to the “tax efficiency” of the option.

The investment will now allow Gregory to be “ready for the summer business” with his outdoor seating area.

We can’t tell you when the right time to lease new equipment or enquire for a loan is, everybody is at different stages in their business. But when the time is right and you see an opportunity, be assured that we can assist in making it happen! So, you make the call – is it time to invest in your business? If you think it is, let us give you some more information on leasing equipment and business loans.