By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Hospitality Insights 2017 has been released by Ferrier Hodgson, providing analysis of the last year for the industry and what the outlook, new opportunities and causes for concern are in the next 12 months.
The report notes the active year for the pub industry for 2016, with the gap between demand and supply driving a more active market in regional areas; and highlights major movements such as the expansion of Dixon Hospitality, and the receivership of Keystone Group – which Ferrier Hodgson handled.
Looking ahead the report identifies opportunities for growth and optimal pub operations, including social media, hotel booking websites where accommodation is offered, and the use of third party apps such as UberEats.
One of the major issues the analysis has highlighted is that in the major customer-led trend in the last couple of years for higher-quality food offerings, many venues that are positioning themselves as specialist food pubs – or gastropubs – are doing so to the detriment of other higher-margin revenue streams, such as gaming.
Penned by partner and national hospitality practice leader Morgan Kelly, the report notes: “Food is lower margin than beverage and gaming and has high labour costs. Getting the revenue mix wrong for a particular venue could lower margins overall.”
Kelly continues: “An attractive food offering is a way to attract patrons and should enhance revenue, not replace other higher margin revenue. Selecting the right food service for a specific venue is critical due to its high cost and lower margin, and choice is already abundant.
“Businesses are absorbing CPI increases in their cost base as consumers are sensitive to price increases. This is further compounded by a rationalisation of corporate entertaining spend, which has traditionally been a significant revenue stream for restaurants.”
Ferrier Hodgson suggests that F&B focused operations will be tested if there is any increase in interest rates.
The report covers a range of topics relevant to the industry, offering a regulatory overview and gaming roundup, as well as looking at technology that industry should be adopting.