The year 2011 marked a turning point for the Polish HoReCa market, which showed the first signs of recovery since the outbreak of the financial crisis. The restaurant market itself rose by 0.8% last year, lower than the two other HoReCa segments. A further improvement is expected in 2012.
According to estimates by PMR, the value of the Polish restaurant (Re) market, which includes categories such as restaurants, pizzerias, fast food bars, cafes and alcohol-serving bars, pubs and clubs, grew by 0.8% in 2011 and amounted to PLN 18.3bn. “The main growth-supporting factors were improving consumer sentiment, particularly in the first half of 2011, more favourable weather conditions than in 2010, and the absence of the kind of catastrophic events (a plane crash, floods) that weighed down heavily on retail sales in Poland the year before. Another positive factor were bigger expense accounts of business customers”, Jarosław Frontczak, a Retail Analyst at PMR, explains.
Factors that impacted negatively on the restaurant market last year were increases in the prices of foodstuffs and food products, persisting crisis in the eurozone, and a slide in consumer confidence that started in July 2011. “Another visible trend was increasing competition and declining numbers of independent (non-chain) restaurants. Though average turnover rose slightly compared with 2010, restaurant owners are being forced to make savings due to rising costs and still relatively small average transaction values”, Jarosław Frontczak says. The market is yet to return to its value in 2009, let alone match its pre-crisis level.
Comparing the findings of a new survey of 600 restaurants in Poland carried out for the report “HoReCa market in Poland 2012. Analysis of the market and growth forecasts for 2012-2014” with the results of a similar study conducted a year earlier , there is a clear improvement in sales revenues reported by restaurants. Thus one in three restaurants had sales revenues of up to PLN 50,000 in 2011, which is down by 15 points over the year before; one in five generated revenues of between PLN 51,000 and PLN 100,000 (same as in 2010), and a similar number had sales of between PLN 101,000 and PLN 250,000, up by four points compared with the preceding year. At the same time, one in ten restaurants achieved revenues of between PLN 251,000 and PLN 500,000, also up by four points, and the proportion of restaurants with revenues of between PLN 501,000 and PLN 1m more than doubled to 9% from 4% in 2010.
Hotel restaurants gave the most upbeat assessment of their performance last year. They were more likely than any other category to report a rise in sales in 2011, and by far least likely to report a decline (nearly 50% less so than the other categories). At the other extreme were alcohol-serving bars, with three in four outlets reporting a fall in sales in 2011.
Furthermore, there was also a small improvement in evaluations of the situation on the Polish HoReCa market compared with the year before. Although the overall balance of assessments remained in negative territory, the share of negative answers declined by four points, with a corresponding increase in neutral answers and no change in the share of positives.
For 2012 we are forecasting a further recovery in the Polish restaurant market, with growth of 4.6%. “Much of the increase will be generated by the Euro 2012 football championships, however. Excluding this factor, the market is unlikely to grow much more than in 2011. That is because, with no end in sight to the global crisis, customers (both individuals and business customers) remain wary to increase spending”, Jarosław Frontczak explains. But Euro 2012 is set to generate substantial market growth this year, as pubs and restaurants benefit from promotional campaigns and from large numbers of home and visiting fans and tourists during the tournament. According to our survey, owners of pizzerias and hotel restaurants are the most optimistic about growth prospects: these are the only categories where the proportion of respondents predicting an increase in sales outnumbers those expecting a decline. Owners of pubs and alcohol-serving bars are the most pessimistic, with just one in five predicting a rise in sales in 2012.
Our respondents are also pinning their biggest hopes for further market recovery on Euro 2012. Of those respondents who expect higher sales this year, nearly one in two (47%) points to the tournament as the key factor, followed by currently observed higher customer volumes and sales (25%), and better macroeconomic situation (19%).
This press release is based on information contained in the latest PMR report entitled “HoReCa market in Poland 2012. Analysis of the market and growth forecasts for 2012-2014”.
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