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Roundup of the hospitality trade Newcastle | December 2013

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Roundup of the hospitality trade Newcastle | December 2013

bottlesWell…that was another roller coaster year which ended differently to the way in which it started. Around Newcastle a number established operators have felt confident enough to invest in what appear to be successful ventures.  If you look at what makes them stand out it is that they have raised the bar another two notches and have their own niche markets.  Ie Dacantus has taken the service of Gin to another artistic dare I say seductive level. Bridge Tavern has its in-house brewed beers and high quality food at affordable prices, Fitzgeralds have gone high end on their food offering and continue to support craft brewers in a big way.

We are seeing a far higher standard of food served almost everywhere nowadays, wine too should be of high quality to encourage repeat business and as was always the way, people will pay extra for consistent quality at whatever price point they choose.

Operating margins continue to be squeezed as gross profits level out or fall but utility bills, rents, rates and staff costs rise.  Never before has it been so important to ensure your gross margins are maintained, we are doing more and more consultancy work to ensure gross margins are achieved, could we help you?

Picking the right staff has never been more crucial in maintaining a quality offering.  If they are interested in what they do this will rub off on the customer who will enjoy the interaction / dialogue and is likely to return to a venue where they feel at home with like minded people.  This could apply in a Wetherspoons or a fine dining restaurant, what I am saying is that people make a business and I have seen the difference that people make so many times in the past.

The rise of branded chain restaurants is a worry for the free trade but the consumer does not appear to be choosing between branded sites and independents rather between good and not so good operators.

As my fortune cookie said the other day ‘you can’t change the wind but you can change the way you sail.’  What do you plan to do in 2014 to ensure you have a safe passage?

See my predictions for 2014

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About the Author:

Richard is the owner of RCM Stocktaking Solutions Ltd which provide Stock Auditing services to the licensed / restaurant / hospitality sector.