Handmade Burger Co hit the news yesterday as the group is in some trouble, they aren’t the only ones. I know of at least two other sizeable food to go retailers who aren’t that far away from being in a similar situation to Handmade and given the huge cost pressures that the industry is facing the expectation amongst people I speak to is that a lot of businesses will be struggling in 2018. The industry has seen huge cost inflation (I personally would not like to be in a position where my business sold lots of avocado and salmon), rising cost of labour (no bad thing but we still need to find the money to pay for it) double digit rises in business rather rates and to cap it all, we are seeing wage growth going backwards and inflation rising which makes taking price problematic. I’m seeing evidence of a slow down in the property market, with locations either “falling out of bed” or previously huge premiums vanishing.

It’s going to be a tough few years for everyone in our sector, it’s going to be interesting to see how the sector responds….

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