May 14, 2018
Optimism Prevails as Artificial Intelligence and Process Engineering Provide Untapped Upside Potential. Undoubtedly, though, the restaurant sector across EMEA is facing numerous challenges. These range from higher business rates and landlords wanting to up rents to significant changes in the consumer behaviour, technological advancements altering the business landscape as well as broader socio-political issues. The latter ranges from Brexit in the UK, which continues to put a strain on prices, costs and the supply chain, to continued localisation efforts in some of the Middle Eastern markets, which sees a large expat community leaving. In both these markets and instances, the consequences of the socio-political movements has also had a marked impact on the availability of qualified talent. Moreover, there is of course more competition in the form of new brands. Many of those new concepts, as well as some of the more established players, have sought private equity money to help speed-up their growth plans. Burdened with an already high pressure to perform and deliver returns on investment, some of these organisations are now beginning to falter in the current difficult trading environment. In short then, it is tough out there and trading conditions are not the best either. So, why the optimism?