2015 has been a buoyant year for the food service and supplies industry, which has resulted in an increase in recruitment and new roles being created.
The casual dining and pub sector has shown sustained growth, and there is an emerging trend for independent businesses.
Artisan, craft and independents
The UK high street has seen a change in shoppers’ behaviour, with more consumers opting for discount stores and shopping on the high street for their grocery items. In turn, this has led to opportunities for more businesses such as coffee shops, delis, artisan bakers and craft brewers. Many micro-breweries have created a total visitor experience, including tours and retail outlets, and many have restaurants attached. More than 170 micro-breweries have opened during the last year, bringing the number of breweries in the UK to more than 1,300.
Changes in recruitment needs
There has also been a growth in the number of companies supplying equipment to the catering industry,, from whom you can purchase a variety of items such as a commercial fridge. There has also been a desire to introduce fresh skills and experience to the industry. Candidates from outside the industry − particularly those with successful sales experience − are winning more roles than previously, and there is a key focus on recruiting account managers and project managers in response to the increased sales.
The catering and hospitality industry is set to become an even bigger employer, especially in Wales. The Welsh government says this industry is a priority and holds the key to job growth. A survey in Gwynedd and Conwy found that one in five people rely on hotels, restaurants and catering for work, while research by Oxford Economics found that 12.5% of the workforce in Wales is employed by the hospitality and catering sector. The British Hospitality Association (BHA), which has around 1,000 establishments in Wales, says that as long as government support for tourism continues, the numbers of people working in catering and hospitality will increase in all areas of Wales by approximately 20,000 in ten years.
The success of the food service and supplies market does bring forth recruitment issues, such as the shortage of highly-trained chefs and the reluctance of good sales candidates to leave their current jobs, making this area candidate driven.