While the sun shines

After a scary start to the year, things are looking up coming into the Christmas trading period

I write this message knowing all too well that, if you have time to read it at this time of year, something is wrong! It is my sincere hope that the silly season has well and truly hit your business. I know for my part that bookings are strong leading into December and since the change of season, demand has really picked up.

There is a real sense of confidence of both consumers and businesses that is starting to return.  In contrast to the end of 2008, this year businesses seem to not feel so guilty about holding a Christmas party. They are booking and are not limiting their budgets as they were at the outset of the so-called crisis.

Recently I had the pleasure of making a ‘state of the Australian industry’ address at an International Restaurant Industry Congress in Tokyo. What was really striking was how well Australia has done compared to the rest of the world. Every other nation seems to still be suffering and Australia did not, at any time, move into negative growth—a great result. The Government stimulus package had a lot to do with that, but so did the strong position we were in when the economy turned. Whilst there is much political debate over which it was that positioned us so well to weather the storm, the reality is that was both. Our system of government has enabled our economy to endure. Now that the sun is out, we should make hay—good trading!

Peter Doyle
President, Restaurant & Catering  Australia

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