Some 36% of businesses indicated this would ultimately have to be passed on to the customer through price increases, while 12% suggested it would lead to them introducing stricter portion controls, stated in catering equipment firm Nisbets' Pulse Survey, which included data from more than 800 catering industry professionals.
Just 3% said this could lead to staff cutbacks, and only 4% noticed an increase in equipment costs, which suggested manufacturers are currently absorbing additional costs.
One third of operators were unsure as to whether they would be recruiting further in the second half of 2017 and those that are, the positions being filled were largely front-of-house staff and general kitchen staff, rather than professional chef positions.
Recruitment is still an issue with 40% of those asked highlighted that they have been forced to hire untrained staff to fill roles, while one quarter (25%) opted to increase the hours of existing staff.
However, when it comes to food trends, 28% said healthy eating and the desire for locally sourced/produced (23%) will continue to be key drivers for customers, along with traditional, home-cooked options (17%).
Despite uncertainty around Brexit, more than half (52%) of operators were ‘very positive’ about the year ahead with one operator highlighting TripAdvisor ranking as a reason to be cheerful and said: “We have a good reputation, we are the number one restaurant in our area on TripAdvisor, and we continue to deliver high standards.”