Most operators KPMG's researchers spoke to, which includes some of the largest F&B brands in the UAE, have been affected by changes over the last 12 months. Nevertheless, there are good grounds for a more optimistic longer-term outlook. Recent Euromonitor data suggests that growth in revenue between now and 2020 is likely to outstrip growth of outlets by around 30 percent. Some of this is predicated on continuing strong tourism growth in the UAE in the run up to Expo 2020. While there is considerable optimism regarding the longer-term prospects for the sector, the short-term outlook has been dampened by current macroeconomic conditions. Only one in four of the operators KPMG spoke to expect to see improved market conditions in the short term. As the market grows, the UAE in general, and Dubai in particular, continues to attract new players, resulting in increased competition. For individual operators, this means a growing struggle for footfall and revenue. There are also specific issues affecting the sector- including increasing rental costs, the race for space, topline growth, rising food costs and increasing attrition of trained staff. In aggregate, these challenges may force some operators - across cuisines and formats - out of the market. Consumer demand for F&B offerings remains robust - people in the UAE, residents and tourists, like to eat out. KPMG's consumer survey indicated the vast majority of people are eating out at least as much as last year with around one third of the company's respondents indicating that they are eating out even more frequently. In addition to strong consumer demand for eating out, the KPMG report's consumer survey also highlighted that a majority of respondents have increased their spend per meal - only one in ten are spending less than last year. The report's respondents are much less likely to cook and eat dinner at home than any other meal. When eating out, average spend is similar to last year with people prepared to spend more when eating in a restaurant than on takeaways. Brunches, something of a UAE tradition, tend to see higher spends and are extremely popular. Despite short-term challenges, operators are bullish about the sector's medium to long-term prospects and are preparing for improved market conditions. All the operators were surveyed confirmed that they continue to invest - either by increasing the UAE footprint of their existing brands, or through geographical expansion outside the UAE, or by investing in newer brands, both homegrown and franchises. Operators' positive longer-term outlook means continued investment and an increasing number of outlets, brands and concepts - all of which are good news for consumers.