The market is now worth over £4.25bn in turnover, with 80 per cent of companies reporting a net revenue increase last year.
The association explained that these latest figures made the FSM sector, which employs nearly 132,000 people across 14,429 outlets, one of the most economically and socially relevant industries in the UK.
It also praised the fact that 44 per cent of its FSM member companies are led by women, 89 per cent have at least one woman on their board, and many exceeding the FTSE 100 goal of 25 per cent female board members by 2015.
The industry also employs a high percentage of young people, with 41 per cent of new employees hired in 2013 aged 30 and under.
Ufi Ibrahim, BHA chief executive, said: “The causes which most matter to the hospitality community are the backbone of our work, and the FSM report showcases that this flourishing UK sector is promoting healthy lifestyles, providing healthy food, security, organisation and business support across UK companies. The report provides a picture of one of the most economically and socially relevant industries in the UK today.”
Branding and franchising
One of the ways the sector has grown is by developing their own branding, but also collaborating with high-street franchised brands such as Starbucks or Costa. According to the report, 70 per cent of contract caterers have developed their own branding to sell their food – two-thirds of which did it in the past eight years or before.
Two-thirds of members surveyed also said they now use franchised brands as part of their service offer to clients.
“In so many of our operations, we have to compete with what the high street has on offer nearby. Consumers do like to use the brands they trust but contract caterers are in a strong position to offer both their own in-house brands and concepts, which have the flexibility to be made bespoke for every location and customer base, and the relevant high street brands that complement the other services we offer,” said Caroline Fry, CEO business and industry, CH&Co.
Operators in the industry have also broadened the range of their services, while keeping catering at the heart of the business. The new services include anything from reception to print management, cleaning to grounds maintenance and engineering.
Read the full report on the BHA website.