Operators need to look beyond Brexit and focus on the opportunities that a sustainable approach to business offers, believes buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.
“In the current market, it can feel like a challenge to try and focus past the potential for supply chain disruption over the coming months, and onto the long term,” says Lynx managing director Rachel Dobson, “but that’s exactly what we’re encouraging hospitality businesses to do”.
“One of the most important issues around Brexit, and one that is most difficult for operators to address directly, is consumer confidence. Consumers need to feel able to commit their disposable income to go out to eat and drink, and a clear message from the industry that, as far as possible, it’s business as usual, will help.”
The advice comes as Lynx publishes the Spring 2019 edition of its regular Market Forecast. which offers operators an in-depth look at pricing and product trends over the coming months, using exclusive data gathered from the range of suppliers who work with Lynx Purchasing.
Dobson adds: “Efficient ordering, well-planned delivery schedules and reducing waste all play a part in this. In the short term, they help operators deal with any disruption to supply over the coming months, and over time, these measures will reduce the sector’s environmental impact, as well as increasing operators’ margins in the long term.”
The Market Forecast also focuses in detail on the potential supply chain challenges of the months ahead, emphasising that British produce is likely to be the least affected in the event of Brexit hitting supplies, “but with demand a big driver of price, operators are advised to keep menus flexible and work closely with suppliers,” advises Dobson.
Sectors covered in the Spring 2019 Market Forecast include:
Beef: The arrival of the barbecue season from Easter onwards will see an increase in the demand for burger cuts from the beef forequarter, as well as continuing demand for steaks, Round cuts such as topsides and silversides are likely to be better valued.
Fish: Wild brill, turbot, monk and hake caught in UK waters should be plentiful, weather and tides permitting. Plaice will also be in good condition after the spawning season, from April onwards, while wild bass, skate and mullet should be avoided because of sustainability issues.
Potatoes: The 2018 potato crop was poor due to the weather, and led to a number of quality issues. While supplies are likely to last until the new season, larger potatoes such as bakers will be in shorter supply and so likely to cost more.
Salads: March sees the arrival of Dutch salad crops such as cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes, which gradually replace Spanish stocks as they come to the end of their season. The UK market is important to these producers, and any supply or currency issues caused by Brexit will be a challenge on both sides.
Dobson adds: “High-quality British produce coming into season this spring includes rhubarb, asparagus, and Jersey Royals. While higher demand may push up prices, we’re encouraging our customers to buy British wherever possible, and to make the most of produce when it’s at its best in terms of price, quality and availability.
“Operators who can adapt recipes and menus will be best place to make the most of seasonality. These are simple measures that help operators deal with any short-term challenges in the supply chain, and also support sustainability.”
The Spring 2018 Market Forecast is available to download free from the Lynx Purchasing website at Lynx-Purchasing-Market-Forecast-Spring-2019.pdf
Lynx Purchasing is launching a new sustainability programme in partnership with its key suppliers. As just one example, Lynx Purchasing has now joined the Sustainable Seafood Coalition, which is working to ensure that all fish and seafood sold in the UK comes from sustainable sources. “We’re the first purchasing group to join, and our membership is part of a wider commitment to sustainability across our business,” says Dobson. https://www.sustainableseafoodcoalition.org/lynx-purchasing/
Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services. Lynx’s buying experts help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year.