The number of foodservice operators predicting growth over the next three years has plummeted, according to a new study from global management consultancy firm LEK.
The survey of 240 operators found that only 56% predict industry growth by 2023. This number has dropped 22% since the survey was last conducted in 2017.
Various causes are posited as current barriers to foodservice industry growth, including high labor costs and rising food prices, as well as overcrowding in the delivery market.
The study suggested a number of ways to combat the lack of foodservice industry growth, such as: reducing labor and leveraging automation; using pre-prepared products; outsourcing delivery; using social media as advertising; and offering healthier options.
Rob Wilson, managing director at L.E.K., commented: “While rising food and labor costs are still top of mind, foodservice operators are seeing new challenges. They’re concerned about rapidly changing consumer preferences, which demand constant diversification of their menus, and an overcrowded online ordering and delivery market.”