"Pubs and restaurants experienced an increase in like-for-like sales in December, and have reported positive Christmas trading," says Tim Doran, client development manager at 3663 First for Foodservice. "We are gradually beginning to see the market changing for the better, although the economy won't recover overnight."
To ensure 2010 is a profitable one, he advises caterers to proceed with caution. "Striving to deliver a quality offering combined with good value and clever marketing will help make sure your business gets off to the best possible start in 2010," he adds.
Doran says that by considering six key factors - your style, the competition, your customer, your limitations, your menu and current key trends - you can plan a profitable menu which suits your local customer base and will make you stand out from the competition.
Catherine Hinchcliff, 3663 marketing controller adds: "Building on this, you need to ensure that your customers are aware of your food offer. By marketing your offer well customers are reminded about it frequently enough to tempt them, and get them into the habit of paying you visit when they are thinking of eating out.