SCOTTISH Bakers, the association which supports bakers throughout Scotland, has announced the results of its latest member survey, confirming that business is heading towards ‘normal’ on high streets from Shetland to Stranraer.
The survey sought to understand trading conditions for Scotland’s much-loved bakers as lockdown restrictions ease, including the indoor sale of takeaway foods and the re-opening of the hospitality sector at large, all key markets for member bakers.
It found that across all respondents, business has generally improved since the re-opening of high streets and hospitality businesses.
Members reported that trading has increased on average by around 25 per cent since the easing of lockdown measures, bringing much of the sector back into the range of what they would consider ‘normal’ trading.
The increase is attributable to:
- More general footfall and passing trade
- More demand for food-to-go across the breakfast and lunchtime hours
- Rising demand from hospitality and/or food service businesses
- Increased orders from supermarkets/convenience stores
- More demand for hot drinks to take-away
Around 70 per cent of respondents still have some 25 per cent of their staff on furlough. Nearly 60 per cent of respondents predict a need to recruit more staff within the next three months. And 80 per cent of respondents recognise a need to develop the skills of their workforce as part of their recovery plans to drive productivity, quality and resilience.
Scottish Bakers chief executive, Alasdair Smith, said: “Whilst it’s not over yet, I know our high street bakers were desperate to get back to some form of normality and it’s great to hear from them that business is bouncing back.
“Many of our members have shown extraordinary resilience – staying open through COVID providing their communities and customers with fresh bread daily not to mention rolls, pies and pastries to keep our spirits up.
“They have changed business models to offer home delivery and click-and-collect options as well as in rural communities stocking a wider range of grocery basics to support their vulnerable customers; so they deserve this bit of good news.
“Our members employ some 11,000 people across Scotland and include hundreds of high street bakeries and cafes as well as wholesalers supplying the hospitality sector – along with schools, hospitals and works canteens – so to be able to slowly return to business as usual is heartening.”
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