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Why Catering Companies are Booming Again in the UK?

The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the biggest threats that catering companies in the UK have ever faced.

The governmental restrictions banned big celebrations and mass gatherings that the catering industry has thrived on for decades and even smaller gatherings were not permitted during lockdowns.

In early 2021 the ONS reported that 55% of hospitality businesses had temporarily paused trading, compared to 24% across all industries. Almost 1 in 5 hospitality businesses (19%) had “low confidence” that their business would survive the next 3 months according to a research briefing available in the House of Commons Library.

While things are slowly getting better, the devastating effects of the pandemic could continue for the foreseeable future. Thus, catering companies must adapt to new ways to survive and innovate as many other businesses have during the pandemic.

Some companies that have adapted to the changing circumstances successfully are drawing in more customers than ever. But how did they do it?

Here are some ways in which catering companies are booming again in the UK.

1. Wedding Catering is Making a Come Back

Statistics show a big wedding in the UK could cost around £68,000, and a big chunk of this goes to catering, which is about £8,000. But when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, couples tried to downscale the celebration, and others have even cancelled. Thankfully, things are starting to get better now, and big weddings could become a trend once again as wedding venues offer more flexibility to customers.

When the government lifted its restrictions, popular wedding venues in South West England started to accept new bookings, which the catering companies have taken advantage of. Although new regulations have been put in place to ensure the safety of guests, such as social distancing measures, these will not significantly affect the way catering businesses operate. Many catering businesses have even gained more private customers to attend to home gatherings and celebrations rather than events in public spaces.

2. Additional Food Hygiene Regulations Increase Demand

To ensure the safety at events held during this Covid-19 pandemic, many hosts need to perform some added checks, aside from the usual checks.  It's therefore often more convenient for event hosts to hire food businesses, such as those in the catering industry, to maintain basic hygiene standards and recognise areas requiring greater attention without having to worry about any issues at the organised event.

Companies should review their food safety management procedures to identify any potential risks. This review must consider all changes in the business process and operations connected to the Covid-19 virus, including workflow management, production, customer interactions, staffing, and other control measures. This can be done through up to date food hygiene training. Catering companies must also provide sanitary supplies, such as hand sanitisers and face masks. These must be placed all over the venue, such as on the tables, at the entrance, bar, restrooms, and other populated areas.

Customers feel more confident in hiring catering companies when they find out that they are applying health and safety protocols and are adapting to the new food hygiene regulations.

3. Catering Adapting to Private Customers

Hosting parties during this Covid-19 pandemic has required a significant adjustment, especially for caterers and event planners. When big celebrations have been paused to curb the spread of the virus, catering companies have decided to focus on servicing more private events.

Catering to smaller parties and events has helped boost sales of some catering companies in the UK, which has also provided jobs to those working in the foodservice industry. When big gatherings were prohibited, people have turned to hosting smaller parties with a limited number of guests. These are the kind of parties that successful catering companies are targeting to stay afloat. Since they cannot currently provide services to large events, they have found a way to target customers that require catering per household or group bookings. They have therefore promoted smaller catering menus such as group and family meal packages.

Closing Thoughts

Many may have thought that the hospitality sector in the UK has suffered the most from this pandemic, but surprisingly some catering companies have adapted successfully to the new normal and have marketed themselves with innovative ideas and concepts to attract more customers and continue to make a revenue.

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