With inflation raging, and hospitality and catering operators facing continued sharp rises in costs, buying specialist Lynx Purchasing is urging businesses to maximise the savings that can be achieved with a disciplined approach to ordering.
The advice comes as Lynx Purchasing publishes the Summer 2022 edition of its regular Market Forecast, using information on pricing trends from key hospitality suppliers, as well as official data, to support customers as they plan menus across the summer and into autumn.
“The Bank of England is now forecasting that inflation will peak at 11% later this year, and many staple products are seeing increase well in excess of that,” says Lynx Purchasing managing director Rachel Dobson.
“The impact of high inflation, along with increased labour, energy and transport costs, and lower consumer confidence, are all part of the ‘big picture’ that operators have no choice but to endure, for at least the rest of this year and into 2023.
“In that context, while “don’t sweat the small stuff” is usually sound advice, in the current market a focus on making relatively small changes to purchasing habits can help make a real difference to margin and profits in a hospitality business.”
Tips to improve buying discipline include:
- Buy the most cost-effective pack size, whether a box, case, or tin
- Order commodity items from the cheapest supplier
- Check orders and report incorrect or damaged goods to the supplier
- Avoid delivery charges by meeting minimum order amounts
- Be organised, plan ahead and order in good time
Product areas highlighted in the Market Forecast include:
- Meat and poultry: In normal times, Ukraine supplies much of the grain used for animal feed. Rising prices not only increase costs, which producers need to pass on, they also mean that some animals are sent to market early, reducing the yield. Poultry faces additional challenges due to the impact of avian flu, and has seen sharp price increases this year. Egg production is also affected by reduced flock numbers.
- Fish and seafood: The latest Marine Conservation Society Good Fish Guide update has flagged up new concerns about the sustainability status of some fish and seafood varieties. Operators should work closely with suppliers to understand changing ratings, and serve fresh, sustainable fish and seafood.
- Summer Fruit: Picking UK soft fruits and summer berries is labour intensive, with growers arguing that they need the UK government to make more migrant worker visas available this summer, with the labour shortage expected to reduce yield and so affect price.
- Wine and Beer: Supply chain disruption, along with higher manufacturing and transport costs, affects packaging as well as food, and the drinks industry is struggling with shortages of aluminium cans and glass bottles. Keeping craft beer menus and wine lists flexible will enable operators to make the most of changing availability from different suppliers.
Dobson adds: “Operators have no choice when it comes to passing on at least some of their increased costs to customers, with the official inflation figures showing that the cost of eating out was 8.3% higher in May than a year previously.
“With consumer spending power under severe pressure, businesses that control their costs through disciplined buying will be in the strongest position to keep their price increase to the minimum over the next few months.
“As ever, our best advice is to order early, keep speaking to suppliers about availability, and to keep menu descriptions flexible to allow for changes if needed.”
Notes to editors:
Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 accounts in the hospitality and catering sector, on a no-membership and no-contract basis that offers like-for-like products at lower prices and often better quality than operators could obtain by negotiating alone.
As purchasing professionals, Lynx works with leading suppliers in the hospitality and catering industry. These include specialist fresh food suppliers, wines & spirits, catering equipment providers, utilities, and specialist service providers such as telecom, business rates consultancy and waste management.
Issued on behalf of: Lynx Purchasing
By: ShielPorter Communications
Further information: John Porter: firstname.lastname@example.org / 07734 054389
Ros Shiel: email@example.com / 07841 694137