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27th September 2022

Study reveals price hikes & staff shortages worsened by lack of innovation

Written by: Edward Waddell
A new survey of contract catering firms across the UK has revealed the top concerns faced by operations managers, head chefs and general managers as the sector continues to navigate in a post-pandemic world.

The study, commissioned by P2P (Procure-to-Pay) catering technology firm Zupa, revealed that rising costs is the top concern for 27% of staff. Poor kitchen management was a close second (25%), a further 24% of respondents also cited lack of staff as a key concern, as well as food shortages (24%).

Almost all of the respondents (99%) said that multiple aspects of their day to day job are being overlooked due to time-consuming manual processes.  A further 40% of catering staff believe that lack of training and resource is to blame for low morale amongst their teams.

Food waste and sustainability is also reportedly being overlooked within catering firms with 40% admitting this is a real problem for the sector. Chef creativity in particular, was called out by over 20% of respondents who say chefs don’t have the time to innovate. 

Ollie Brand, chief executive at Zupa commented: “This latest survey combined with the events of the last couple of years, perhaps highlights that there is no return to the ‘old normal’. We now have a ‘new normal’ defined by unpredictability that requires aptitude, not just acceptance of uncertainty and change.

“Innovation is paramount and recognition that the right technology can help is critical to creating positive change in this sector. However, the survey does raise concerns as many are still failing to make the connection between outdated, manual processes and key operational concerns raised by their staff.”

The research also showed an acknowledgement from respondents, that technology would help their business. Just over half (51%) of respondents said they are looking for technology that is easy to use.

A further 48% said that technology fits with the culture of their business and there is also enthusiasm around the prospect of introducing new technology, with 43% saying they are excited by the introduction of new technology.