Restaurateurs have been warned they could lose their trade to pubs if they fail to introduce new ideas and innovative marketing techniques during the credit crunch.
According to market analysts Horizons, the restaurant sector will start feeling the squeeze more acutely unless it follows the example of many pub operators who started shaking up their businesses in a bid to survive the fall-out of the smoking ban.
Horizons’ market analyst Peter Backman said many pubs had improved the quality of their food and were opening for longer as well as hosting a range of promotions such as themed evenings and free wi-fi connection, and restaurants needed to do similar in order to survive.
Backman said: “Now consumers are feeling the crunch they are cutting back on discretionary spend – including eating out. When they do eat out they will be looking for value-for-money, reliable service, good quality food and something that offers them what they want, when they want it.
“Pubs and restaurants are moving much more closely together creating a market where there is too much capacity and not enough demand. Many pub operators are managing to keep their offer fresh with new ideas and innovative marketing techniques. If restaurant operators don’t do the same they will lose their market share – some could go out of business."
Many restaurants are already innovating and using methods very often used by pubs to pull in trade. Last month, the Cinnamon Club (pictured) hosted a twist on the pub quiz with its foodie quiz.