Rising costs and inflation begin to impact hospitality 

Data newly released from NCASS partner Barclaycard indicates that the rising cost of living in the UK has directly impacted spending in the hospitality sector. Consumer spending on takeaways dropped in April compared with March, and growth in fast-food, takeaways, bars and clubs was lower than in March; 79.6% and 41.7% respectively. 

The number of Britons feeling worried about the impact of higher fuel bills on their finances remains at 90%, with average spending on utilities having increased 28.8% per customer, year on year. 

Jose Carvalho, head of consumer at products at Barclaycard admitted that whilst “the impact of rising living costs on consumer spending is starting to show, with a number of categories – including takeaways, bars, pubs…the upcoming Jubilee Weekend and summer months should provide opportunities for Brits to spend on celebrations and make the most of the warmer weather.” 

Cutting Costs 

Rising costs aren’t just hitting households, inflation is having a direct impact on hospitality businesses as the cost of food products continue to soar. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the price of bread increased by 2.3% in March, and is now a staggering 5.5% more expensive than it was in April 2021. 

Unfortunately, rising food costs are likely to impact hospitality customers with businesses struggling to absorb rising costs in both fuel and food. However, we have spoken with NCASS members, who keen to avoid spiralling menu costs, have been able to make small amends to their products. 

What can I do to avoid passing rising costs on to my customer? 

  • Is it possible to reduce the size of your portions? Even marginal differences, say reducing 10-inch pizza, to an 8-inch pizza will ensure stock goes further, without making a huge difference to customers
  • Charging small amounts for previously concessionary items such as items or alternative milks or condiments 
  • Substitute expensive items for cheaper alternatives, e.g., chicken breast for thigh or quinoa for rice 
  • Operate with a reduced menu to minimise stock waste 
  • Changing meal ratios 
  • Charging a small surplus for ‘extras’ e.g., avocado 


We know that small, independent businesses are the hardest hit in times of economic difficulty, which is one of the reasons we’re so passionate about creating cost-saving partnerships that benefit our members. To save money on everything from food products to kitchen cleaner and card machines, simply login to your NCASS dashboard or give us a call on 0300 124 6866 and sign up for free. 

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