#Food franchising can weather the storm

According to a recent report from Allegra Strategies, the industry analysts sponsored by McDonalds, the future of food franchising will be bright. Eating out in the UK, year 2009, is the most widespread study of the informal eating out sector in the UK and its results provide some precious insights into those businesses that are best-placed to survive the meltdown.

The report that focuses on coffee shops, fast food restaurants and pubs, paints a lively picture of the high-street future, which is uniformly important for retail industries and wider food services. It also reveals that the eating out accounts for nearly 22 per cent of spends on drink and food, compared to that of 14 per cent in 1969. It has also long been regarded as resilient to recession.

After surveying thousands of senior industry executives and consumers, Allegra Strategies found out that the sector had contracted for the very first time in past 40 years, with approximately 35 per cent of people eating out, fewer in past 12 months and 20 per cent preparing to cut back in next year. However, the good news is that growth is likely to return in 2010 and by 2014 eating out will value £47.5 billion.

Consumers will continue to insist on enhanced experience and better value – but they will not be willing to pay extra for it. Only the businesses that will meet this growing expectation will be able to survive. While the retail sector is set to remain under pressure, informal eating will have a major role in pulling the UK out from the recession.