Home Business NewsBusiness Just Eat joins forces with restaurant investor Sarah Willingham to realise £1.1bn growth potential of UK independent restaurants and takeaways

Just Eat joins forces with restaurant investor Sarah Willingham to realise £1.1bn growth potential of UK independent restaurants and takeaways

24th May 18 9:41 am

Here’s why

Just Eat, the global online marketplace for takeaway food delivery, is today launching a dedicated Business Booster programme to drive sustained growth among the UK’s independent restaurants, giving a much-needed support boost to local businesses on UK high streets.

New research carried out among independent restaurant owners reveals three in five hold a belief they will grow their business in the next five years, despite the current climate. If independent restaurants achieve this, and increase annual turnover by five per cent, the UK economy stands to gain £1.1bn and the sector would create 55,000 new jobs by 2023.

Despite their optimism regarding potential growth, the day-to-day running of a business is causing concern among restaurant owners. Two thirds of independent restaurant owners (65 per cent ) express concern they will be unable to maintain current profitability levels, and 63 per cent say they would value advice on how they can grow their business.

Supporting Independent Restaurants

The Business Booster initiative has been designed to support restaurants and address the challenges they face as they seek to grow their business.

The initiative will see the company team up with entrepreneur and ex-Dragon’s Den star Sarah Willingham to provide one-on-one business mentoring for restaurant owners who are facing a business challenge. Sarah, who has previously held senior management roles at Pizza Express and is credited for taking Bombay Bicycle Club from five restaurants to the UK’s largest chain of Indian restaurants, will also advise businesses through a series of regional events and through blogs and advice shared through the platform’s communication channels.

The business advice has been specifically designed to address areas that restaurant owners  are neglecting, and to support in areas where they see opportunity. For instance, in the past two years:

  • 30 per cent of restaurant owners have not checked their income and costs to see how their margins are changing
  • Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of restaurant owners have not reviewed their pricing

Furthermore, the most important areas of opportunity identified by restaurant owners are:

  • Increasing the number of new customers (85 per cent)
  • Promoting business to more potential customers (80 per cent)
  • Increasing their margins (67 per cent)

Sarah Willingham, said: “It’s amazing to see such energy and drive from independent restaurant owners to grow their business despite the challenging conditions that we continue to see in the casual dining sector. When you run a small business so much time is spent on the day to day management that it is hard to focus on growing the business. But there still exists many opportunities for independent food outlets; from making the most of the rise of marketplaces like Just Eat to the simple tricks that will help them to find efficiencies or be a bit more commercially-savvy.

“As someone who knows what it takes to build, grow and run successful restaurants, I know that a small change can go a long way. I’m really looking forward to playing a part in supporting local restaurant owners, and working closely with many, to achieve their growth ambitions.”

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