Cold comforts mask a brighter future

15 December 2010 by
Cold comforts mask a brighter future

It has been an eventful year. The snow and freezing weather that affected much of the country at the start of 2010 has made a somewhat unwelcome return at its end. But despite the problems it has been causing, we have seen a tentative, fragile recovery in many sectors of the industry in the past 12 months.

Then again, 2011 will bring its own challenges. The prospect of a 2.5% rise in VAT and a potential fall in consumer confidence because of swathes of public sector job cuts both loom on the horizon.

Certainly, the pub sector doesn't look likely to see a great deal of help on the VAT front, if the words of the new community pubs minister Bob Neill in a House of Commons debate on the future of the pub last week are to be believed (page 7).

But his pledge that the Government will follow through with a ban on below-cost alcohol sales - however that may ultimately work - offers a glimmer of hope that things will continue to improve.

Meanwhile, Wales's burgeoning restaurant scene will no doubt welcome the new emphasis that the Welsh Assembly Government is to focus on enhancing its national and international reputation for its innovative food and drink and hospitality sector through its Food Strategy for 2010 to 2020 (page 6).

So as you battle through one of the busiest (and hopefully most rewarding) times of the year, it may be worth remembering that the future need not be daunting.

Failing that, you can take comfort in the stories of Caterer readers who faced festive adversity and triumphed (page 28). Merry Christmas from the Caterer team!

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