The London restaurant industry is starting to show slight signs of recovery from the recession, with some businesses reporting an increase in profits and bookings for the second quarter of the year.
In a poll of almost 150 London restaurants for Business Link’s monthly Restaurant Barometer, 40 per cent of the capital’s businesses reported an increase in like-for-like custom and profits from April to June this year, while a third experienced a steady trade.
However, the recession has continued to leave its mark on some businesses, as 40 per cent reported profit losses, and 38 per cent saw a decline in customers who also reduced their spend.
Ashley de Safrin, business adviser for the Hospitality sector at Business Link, said the worst was not over for London restaurants, and advised them to ‘capitalise on summer dining’ and the capital’s high number of tourists.
“This month’s poll shows that things are on the up for restaurants, particularly the high-end sector, but that the heat is still on as the recession bites into customer spend,” he said.
“People continue to be prudent, opting for cheaper alternatives – tap water, house wines and set menus. Restaurants need to bear these factors in mind when designing their menus and ordering their supplies. All costs need to be managed very carefully backed by a strong marketing drive. This is also the time when service needs to be impeccable.”
High-end restaurants in the capital particularly showed signs of recovery, as 40 per cent also reported an increase in profit and customers during May.