Eating out positivity at its highest since 2007, says CBI

More and more households are seemingly positive about eating out, according to a new report by the CBI.

New figures have highlighted that bars, restaurants and hotels have seen sales at their highest since August 2007, marking a six-year high not seen since the global financial crisis hit. In turn, consumer profits have also risen to a peak not witnessed since November 2007.

This report follows separate research from RBS and Natwest, which revealed that 48 per cent of hospitality business owners believed that their companies would see growth in 2013, whilst 73 per cent were generally quite optimistic about the future. Furthermore, the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker has also shown that restaurant groups in the UK saw a boost in sales in April across the UK, and a particular 0.3 per cent rise in London after six months of decline.

Stephen Gifford, CBI director of economics, said: “There appears to be a sense of growing confidence in the service sector. We’ve seen some turnaround in activity this quarter, and a more positive outlook for the next. What’s promising is that consumer services have seen growth in activity, and expect this to continue, pointing to a greater willingness from people to go out and spend.”

It is hoped that this positivity will not only be converted into boosted sales in the sector but also the creation of a multitude of new hospitality jobs.

In turn, the CBI has unveiled a new financial guide for smaller companies that may be looking to expand over the next year. The guide, 'Ripe for the Picking', looks at options such as external funds, asset lending and corporate partnerships as ways in which smaller groups can develop in a competitive market. Mr Gifford added: “It’s vital that growing firms look at the full range of funding options on the market."

Berkeley Scott is a specialist recruitment agency in the food industry.