The benchmark

Matteo PignatelliYour association’s latest benchmarking report offers a lot of familiar news, and a few surprises.

Recently R&CA published its benchmarking report. The report showed what was expected, with revenues growing and profit shrinking. All up, labour costs are at 44.2 per cent, cost of goods sold at 31.2 per cent (for food), 30.6 per cent (for beverage) and occupancy costs at an average of 12.8 per cent (incl. rates and taxes). This does not leave much for all the other costs. While this bottom line average is not good news, businesses were optimistic in relation to revenue, with 65.7 per cent expecting 2016 trade to exceed 2015.

The report also investigated some other areas of operation including use of technology. It found that 57.5 per cent of operators do not use an online booking system, six per cent of whom will implement a system in the next 12 months. But 26.9 per cent see no value at all in these systems. On questioning why, the biggest perceived barrier was that 44 per cent said it is not appropriate for their clientele and 13.1 per cent believe that their staff do not have the skills to use these system.

As is always the case, the biggest barriers to running our businesses were penalty rates and the first and second order issues. Other costs were also in the top three. This report shows that it is certainly no easier to make money out of the restaurant trade. This, I am sure, make sense to you as it does to me. I guess we just have to hang in there until that profitless volume turns the corner again.

Matteo Pignatelli

President, Restaurant & Catering

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