The last six months has been a very tough period for restaurant operators, particularly as the sector was already struggling prior to the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.
The decline in the value of the eating out market was expected to reverse in 2021, but is now likely to be the end of 2022 before it experiences a full revival.
However, the results of Christie & Co’s latest Sentiment Survey indicate a sense of cautious optimism has begun to filter through the market since the last survey in January 2021, with one third of respondents noting they feel positive about seeing some recovery in the second half of 2021 and 49% stating there is potential opportunity due to the successful vaccination programme, easing of restrictions and the strength of the domestic staycation market.
The survey suggests buyer demand for hospitality assets will continue to outstrip supply in the second half of 2021, with 17% of respondents noting they will be looking to sell, whilst 24% said they will be looking to buy. This is positive for sellers and may lead to more competitive bidding and dynamic pricing.
Sentiment around pricing has improved significantly, with 68% of those surveyed believing pricing will stay the same or increase, likely off the back of the strong return to trading since reopening. Following a further boost over summer, the team anticipate more operators will be confident to test the market from Q3 onwards.
Key challenges identified for the next six months include the staffing crisis facing the industry, rising costs and food and drink price inflation.
(source: Christie & Co, image: pexels)