Revealed: The Greatest Challenges Facing Pubs and Restaurants

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The biggest challenge currently facing pubs and restaurants is keeping costs down, that’s according to new research revealed by independent catering equipment suppliers, Stephensons. Over 60% cite keeping costs manageable as the greatest challenge facing them in the current climate, followed by almost 40% who state finding new customers as their main challenge.

Stephensons - Catering Equipment Supplier
Trying to build a strong customer base...we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Trip Advisor.

In order to understand how to better meet and exceed the needs and wants of its customers, Stephensons commissioned The Red Door (Insight Consultancy) to undertake the research however, two of the biggest concerns raised highlighted the need for industry-wide help and support for the establishments that make up the UK's Restaurants, Bars and Hotel hospitality sector.

Henry Stephenson, managing director of Stephensons, comments: “This research has been vital, not only for us to understand the needs of our customers, but to provide an insight into the pressures the managers and owners of our pubs and restaurants are under.

“With over 60% of those pubs and restaurants who participated in the survey stating their main worry was keeping costs to a minimum, it is imperative that as an industry, we do what we can to support them through these difficult economic periods. Indeed, this year we intend to offer a range of workshops to venues to help them to manage some of these issues.”

In addition to the statistics, the research also revealed some interesting comments from respondents:

“I try to manage cash flow by not ordering in the last week of the month.” (Restaurant)
“Trying to build a strong customer base...we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Trip Advisor, we’re constantly thinking about what else we can do.” (Pub with food)
“We want to look high end/sumptuous but keep costs down.” (Restaurant)
“Customers are getting more savvy, they want good food at bargain prices.” (Pub with food)

For more information on Stephensons, please visit, like us on Facebook (Stephensons Catering Equipment) or follow us on Twitter (@HGStephensons).

  •     The survey of pubs and restaurants revealed the following results to the question: “What is the greatest challenge facing your business?”

%    Challenge
61.5    Keeping costs down/manageable
38.5    Attracting new customers
30.8    Staffing issues
26.9    Predicting busy vs quiet periods
26.9    Marketing
23.1    Managing cash flow
19.2    Encouraging current customers to return again
11.5    Finding good suppliers
11.5    Being inventive and staying current/up to date
3.8    Sourcing the best products

  •     Stephensons is an independent, family-run catering equipment supplier based in Stockport
  •     The company was launched in 1868 and has been serving the catering trade for over 140 years
  •     It is now in its fifth generation with Henry Stephenson taking the helm as Managing Director

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