Times are good and we have plenty to celebrate. Now we must ensure stable long-term growth.
We close this edition of Restaurant & Catering Australia with the 2007 Awards for Excellence in Adelaide. What a celebration of our industry the night was. Shannon Bennett, owner of Vue de monde in Melbourne, was once again honoured as Restaurant of the Year (the first two-time winner of the award) and other significant awards were won by caterers and restaurants across the nation. Shannon is a great example of what hard work and entrepreneurial flair can do.
Throughout the awards evening I spoke to a great number of fellow restaurateurs, most of whom said to me that times have never been better. It seems at last business clearance rates are lifting and goodwill is returning some value to our hard-working colleagues. Serious investment is being made in the restaurant industry. The real question now is how long this will last and how can we contribute to keeping the economic environment healthy enough to get some sustainable revenue growth. The Election is a real risk to long-term profitability. The announcement of tax cuts in recent years has demonstrated that it is the announcement rather than the implementation that sees a spike in spending in restaurants. Spend is therefore understood to be driven by consumer confidence of economic prosperity rather than actual money in the pocket. Which ever party holds government, there needs to be sound economic management as it is only with confidence in government that consumers will spend in our restaurants.
President, Restaurant & Catering Australia