1. Content is king.
    Two recently emerged brands – SushiDog & Burgerism – both spoke about the importance of innovative and relative social content that has allowed them to build great success through pure social engagement.  Clearly targeted towards a Gen Z audience but they’re delivering best practice in online marketing to drive growth.  Check them out, very cool brands and ones to watch.
  2. Trend-setting in 2023.
    –  Work life balance – pivot your business to accommodate the new ways of working (not in the office 5 days p/w etc).
    –  Ageing population – don’t just focus on a younger audience, more and more older people enjoy eating/drinking out and will bring
    you lots of sales.
    –  Consumer responsibility – consider every area of your business to minimise impact on environment/humans/animals.
  1. Profits are squeezed but don’t lose quality.
    A lot of talk about a variety of costs rising which we’re all aware of – to put it into context, the CEO of Chesterford Group (Hertfordshire-based Fish & Chip chain group) spoke about how their energy bills were going up from £600k to £4.8m per annum. Wowsers!  However, whilst food, energy and overhead costs are rising – it’s imperative to maintain quality of your product/service to retain customers as this drives the top line and will hopefully help keep the books balanced.
  2. Customer and experience need to be on the agenda…not just finance.
    Whilst clearly a lot of focus, and talk, has been on the numbers – especially in the boardroom – it’s important not to forget your customers and the experience you deliver to them.  This has been often overlooked recently.  Customer engagement is vital.
  3. Pile on the fat, ready for winter.
    Next 6-12 months are critical however it was great to hear so many businesses have delivered good success over the past year or two that has given them a buffer on the bottom line to support them through the tough times ahead.  Q1/2 of 2023 is going to interesting and sadly we’ll see some businesses go – but we’ll also see plenty survive…and thrive as they continue to adapt.  Mid-market concepts are deemed to perhaps to be the most vulnerable.
  4. Invest to be the best.
    Look after and invest in your people….this drives brand value and work ethic, which in turn delivers sales and ultimately profit.
  5. Tech is here to stay.
    Embracing technology within your team is paramount in today’s world.  It’s only going to become more and more of business operations and it allows staff to deliver the best service to consumers – with many tools allowing you to measure its success/improve.
  6. The bubble is bursting.
    More and more brands are seeing success outside of London, but you must pitch the brand correctly to relate to your audience and bed into their community spirit.
  7. Staff, Staff, Staff!
    With current workforces wanting to work less hours than ever before, the industry is needing to hire 20-25% more staff to fulfil trading requirements.  Revert to investing in your team as much as you can as otherwise you’ll be investing huge sums on recruitment otherwise.
  8. Consumers love a story
    Research has shown that consumers engage with a great brand story more than food trends, so it’s critical that brands revisit and align to ensure they have their brand correctly pitched in the market with a story to tell.  For example a great doughnut brand can do just as well as a great poke brand, despite what’s hot vs not.

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