The UK foodservice sector is slowly recovering from the widespread lockdowns that crippled restaurants during the pandemic, but the recovery is taking longer than expected because of country's high inflation and resulting cost-of-living crisis.

“Since everything has reopened and there are no more restrictions, the recovery is definitely happening,” Sergey Chekmarev, senior market research consultant for UK foodservice at market research firm Circana, told IntraFish.

“The big ‘but’ is that this recovery is hindered by the cost-of-living crisis.”

Despite macroeconomic improvements, inflation remains uncomfortably high, said Circana, and consumers are feeling the squeeze from higher food prices, mortgage payments and utility bills.