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How Collaboration Helps Combat the Scourge of Inflation

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How Collaboration Helps Combat the Scourge of Inflation

How Collaboration Helps Combat the Scourge of Inflation
December 19
08:01 2022

After an extended period of stable food pricing, where only the odd commodity periodically increased in price, most categories seem to be affected now and since costs have been soaring, there has been much talk about inflation and the effect this is having on businesses, clients and consumers.
Candice Finn provides a key to understanding the full inflation picture and how businesses can mitigate the challenges in the months ahead…

Candice Finn

Often when we talk about inflation, we refer to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). But as the CPI is based on residential inflation, this doesn’t take into account the entire gambit of factors that impact the commercial foodservice sector. Given the fact inflation was sitting at 16.5% last month -its highest rate for 45 years – it is hardly surprising that for many of us it’s the highest it’s been in our living memory.

Perhaps we were fortunate enough to be able to semi-ignore inflation in the past, having become accustomed to fluctuations being mild and impacts small. However, what used to be an annual conversation, perhaps one that nestled under ‘AOB’ on the agenda, now needs to be front and centre at every single client review, because inflation is going to remain high for the foreseeable future.

For the vast majority, business conditions have never been as tough as they have in the past four years. The perfect storm of war, Brexit, the pandemic and uncertainty around growth and stability has resulted in the double-digit food price inflation that’s showing no sign of slowing down.

Whether currently partnered with wholesale partners, a contract caterer or a specialist procurement partner, businesses and suppliers need to be honest with each other. The industry-wide challenges will impact different businesses in different ways and so now, more than ever, is the time to have transparent conversations about where support is most needed so that solutions can be found. Third parties and consultants can bring with them a broader view, equipped with insights and data from across the industry – in addition to experience of what has worked with other businesses, across both in-house services and outsourced providers.

This insight need not be solely focused on the foodservice operation, either; facilities and assets, the use of office space and energy efficiencies can all be taken into account.

Of course, it is likely there will be more casualties in the next year as inflation continues to bite into margins. We need to be agile, flexible and innovative in our approach if we are to successfully counter the effects on businesses and consumers, and we will need to keep cost conversations at the forefront of every meeting from hereon in.

Candice Finn is Commercial Director at the Litmus Partnership.

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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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