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So HOT right now – 5% VAT is a UK hot food-to-go opportunity

With the UK Government’s recent announcement of a temporary reduction in VAT to 5% on food and non-alcoholic beverages, now is the time to embrace hot-holding.

The reduction in VAT is an excellent opportunity for those that serve, or are looking to serve, hot food.

Applying from 15th July 2020 until 31st March 2021, the VAT reduction relates to hot takeaway food and all food sold for dining in, for example, in restaurants, hotels, cafés and pubs.

Although people are venturing out again in the UK, there is some reluctance – and it’s the role of brands to build trust with consumers that they can shop, eat and drink safely.

Consumer confidence in the safety of public spaces, such as the high street, is undoubtedly shaken. Food retailers need to build trust from here. Hot-holding with Flexeserve Zone® can provide you with the tools to do that, whilst helping you to build sales and create new opportunities.

Gain trust through food security

Food security is now a hot topic. The concern regarding contamination is rewriting food safety standards. You can achieve food security through a carefully crafted solution – encompassing food preparation and cook methods, hot-holding technology, in-store service and packaging.

Mushroom burger in packaging co-developed with packaging partners by Flexeserve® for food security and optimum hot-holding in Flexeserve Zone®

Furthermore, the ‘heat-to-eat’ techniques used by many major food-to-go retailers are becoming increasingly undesirable. With consumers expecting increased food security, methods that introduce additional moments of contact before consumption should be avoided.

In short, food security is a major selling point. It may even draw in new customers that would otherwise go elsewhere or prepare food at home.

Hot-holding enables you to offer hot, ready-to-eat food items that are individually wrapped and have had minimal contact before consumption.

VAT reduction is opportunity to build sales

The reduction in your costs may also be a chance for you to consider an ultra-hygienic solution to serving hot food – hot-holding. If done correctly, it can reduce waste, increase basket spend and create new profit centres for your business.

The reduction in VAT is more than just a reduction in your costs, it’s also a marketing tool. This six-month period is your chance to actively build hot food-to-go sales.

Many businesses have already used the lowered VAT in their advertising – relating it to promotions and price drops. You can even incorporate this messaging into your POS on-site.

Hospitality and leisure take note

Are your customers going to be comfortable with the way you currently serve hot food? Do you need to find ways to build their confidence and attract their custom?

Hot-holding is a solution that many sectors will begin to consider, and this period of reduced VAT gives you a great opportunity to embrace it. Hospitality and leisure businesses are an ideal match for offering hot food-to-go – from hotels, pubs and bars to contract caterers, tourist attractions and much more.

If you are yet to open your kitchen, hot-holding can allow you to reintroduce hot food in place of what you would normally offer your customers – potentially with lower labour requirements whilst demand returns.

Hot-holding applies to many other sectors too – any business, organisation or establishment with a canteen-style operation – including, for example, hospitals.

Range of packaging co-developed with packaging partners by Flexeserve® for food security and optimum hot-holding in Flexeserve Zone®


How can Flexeserve® help?

We can help you find the foodservice solution that allows you to deliver excellent food security to your customers, and excellent food quality too!

We can develop a no-touch process to creating and serving hot food with our Flexeserve Zone® heated display. Importantly, this includes creating packaging solutions, in collaboration with leading packaging manufacturers.

The unique technology within Flexeserve Zone® also allows you to tightly control the temperature of your products. This consistency of temperature that surrounds each product and its packaging ensures optimum food security.

Flexeserve® CEO, Jamie Joyce, says: “It’s inspiring to see some of our longstanding customers proactively using the 5% VAT rate to push sales of hot food-to-go forward! Now is a great time to make the most of hot-holding investments that offer the food security that consumers need in the new normal.”

For more information on the Flexeserve® Solution, watch this video:


For more information about Flexeserve®, and how we can support your business, please contact us.

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