It said the “sweet spot” pre-pandemic had been 20% smaller vs normal menus, but that franchise partners had been keen on larger menus.
The reduction in menu items has resulted in faster service and less wastage, as well as the need for fewer kitchen staff, said Peel Hunt.
The analyst believes that SSP’s intention to retain improved operational disciplines and cost savings should boost long-term margin potential.
More varied working patterns post-pandemic could also help spread out sales across the day, which would be beneficial, it said.
The note added that, overall, expansion potential was greater post-pandemic, in part down to the fact that the operator “should be able to win new contracts at cheaper rents to sites it refused to overpay for in the past”.
In its latest financial update, SSP said it remained optimistic about its ability to adapt and capitalise on the return of the travel market in 2021 despite incurring huge losses last year.
SSP menus cut by up to 60% during pandemic
Travel hub operator SSP has simplified its menus by up to 50-60% during the pandemic, which could result in smaller menus remaining post-covid, according to an analysts’ note by Peel Hunt. It said the “sweet spot” pre-pandemic had been 20% smaller vs normal menus, but that franchise partners had been keen on larger menus.