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  • Brendon

    2024 Business focus & expectations

    Happy 2024 all

    2023 leaves us and the new year once again brings new challenges and expectations of the year ahead.

    Legislation changes:

    The main focus of changes come in zero hour contract workers, Holiday entitlements and requirement for an employers duty to prevent sexual harassment 

    A detailed report on these changes and dates can be found here: 


    From the day-one right to request flexible working to rolled-up holiday pay, these are the employment law changes in 2024.



    Food Safety Updates: 

    Last year we saw the introduction of the first major nutritional information regs for the hospitality sector affecting the more larger organisations and this trend will continue over the coming decade with year by year changes to slowly introduce further information to consumers. 

    The FSA (Food Standards Agency) have agreed to strengthen allergen information to consumers and will be proposing this to ministers in the coming months. The main change they are focusing on is the requirement of written allergen information across the board. If approved, this will mean it becomes a legal requirement for businesses to have written allergen information available for guests & customers to view. 

    Whilst I believe the normal allergen matrix will be accepted, I also have a reserved intuition that allergens written on menus may become a legal requirement and potentially a full ingredients list creeping its way into law. 

    Ones to watch (Recently discussed and circulating):

    - Allergen incident reporting similar to HSE's health and safety RIDDOR system. Such as 'near misses', 'minor' & 'major'
    - Mandatory display of food hygiene rating in England (Wales has seen a significant increase in ratings of 5 since it became mandatory for all food businesses to display their rating on the entrance)
    - Mandatory food safety training ( a little vague at the moment, but discussions are ongoing about the training requirements of food handlers which may see a similar legal system as the CPC training required of HGV drivers being taken on a regular 2-5 year cycle) 


    Labour changes, Increase to minimum wage and expected GP changes: 

    How many businesses are struggling at the moment? I'm sure we've all seen the latest news and articles about another great pub, restaurant or eatery closing down. 

    In October 2023 I completed a thorough analysis of hospitality increases with labour, supplies, rates and overall utilities year on year with normal annual increases ranging at 5-7%. 2022-23 saw an average of 14% increase and 2023-24 is looking similar but may peak at 20% for some businesses depending on labour and utilities, and whether corporation tax will remain at 25% in April. 
    Working off these increases, a normal 75% target on food GP in 2015-2019 would have meant a 79-81% target GP in 2023 to achieve the same level of profit margins (targets of 10-15% NET) without consideration to any loss of trade due to the cost of living affecting the general consumer pockets. In 2024 I expect a target of 79% to be a reasonable expectation for most food businesses and I would be implementing these changes in the early January-February menus to be ahead of the 10-14% wage increases due in April. 
    New hourly rates for April 2024: 
    National Living wage (21 & Over): £11.44 Per Hour
    18-20: £8.60 Per Hour
    Under 18's & Apprenticeships: £6.40 Per Hour


    Labour &  Worker trend/culture changes in 2024:

    As seen in recent workplace tribunals and with further changes to legislation, 2024 should will be a major shift in HR management. Focus however should not be on 'tip toeing' around hoping that something doesn't happen or someone doesn't say/do the wrong thing. Focus should be on everyone recreating a good workplace culture and getting everyone on board with the changing the norm. 


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