THE CATERING market in the UK grew by an estimated 4.3 per cent last year according to new research.
The figures, released by business intelligence firm Research and Markets, show growth across the restaurant, takeaway, pubs, clubs and contract catering and various holiday sectors.
The increase, which now means the catering market in the UK is worth £32.44 billion, is expected to continue, with steady overall growth despite the possibility of weak consumer spending and unforeseen consequences of the smoking ban denting sales in some sectors.
Pubs were the fastest growing subsector, according to Research and Markets, and found pubs with strong food offerings fared particularly well. This, it added, was especially important given that the year saw on-trade beer volume sales at their lowest level since the 1930s.
The report identified the smoking ban, diminished access to credit and high interest rates as significantly challenging to the industry.