Consumer foodservice was one of the industries most badly impacted by the pandemic and its slew of restrictions, recording major losses across regions. Home seclusion meant no visits to establishments like bars, cafés or restaurants. Foodservice outlets were also closed for extended periods, subsequently only opening for takeaway/delivery. Even when eat-in was allowed, this still came with restrictions, such as shorter opening hours or limited capacity to enable social distancing.
While most countries across regions were leaving the pandemic behind in 2022, China - and therefore also the Asia Pacific region as a whole – saw sales fall again, as the Omicron variant resulted in a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China, and the Chinese Government kept its strict zero-COVID policy in place until very late in the year.
Recovery to continue despite the threat of inflation
Consumer foodservice has been recovering in most areas of the world since the pandemic, although the recovery is starting to slow, due to high inflation rates pushing up costs and eating into consumers’ disposable incomes.
High inflation rates will remain a problem in the immediate future, particularly in 2023. Despite this, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa and Western Europe are all expected to record positive CAGRs over the forecast period, ranging from just over 2% to more than 6%. Asia Pacific, the biggest regional market, is expected to be the most dynamic in 2022-2027, just ahead of Middle East and Africa.
Eat-in share shrinks while home delivery grows
All of takeaway, home delivery and drive-through recorded strong growth in 2020, when conditions were working against eat-in. While eat-in has since regained some of the share it lost in 2020, it will not return to the sales levels it was seeing in 2019, prior to the pandemic.
While eat-in struggles to recover, home delivery has doubled its share to 19% since the pandemic
Source: Euromonitor International
Home delivery, which has doubled its share thanks to the pandemic, is expected to continue gaining ground in the coming years. It is particularly popular in the limited-service restaurants channel, with the development of new apps and platforms that make online ordering easier and faster likely to reinforce the popularity of home delivery.
The digital future
The digitalisation trend is also expected to continue gaining momentum beyond the delivery space, with more players likely to adopt new tools and systems to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and add value in other areas of their businesses. Examples include in-outlet apps and terminals that allow customers to place orders digitally and then pick up food at the counter or QR codes for ordering, making eat-in bill payments and claiming discounts or special deals.
Digitalisation will grow beyond delivery, as companies rush to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and add value across their businesses
Source: Euromonitor International
Although traditional service will remain at the core of the full-service restaurants’ offer, with many consumers still appreciating in-person service, digital menus and payment apps will become more common. The mobile app Sunday, for example, was looking to be in use at 500 restaurants across Portugal by the end of 2022. The app creates a QR code for each of a restaurant’s tables. Consumers can order at the table through the QR code and pay by scanning a code to access invoice details. They can also choose to pay in full, split the bill equally or pay a stipulated amount of it.
Also in Portugal, the Estação Menina Bonita restaurant, which opened in Lisbon in 2022, showcases digitalisation as its main theme. The restaurant has robots serving tables, artificial intelligence, smart bathrooms and luminous waterfalls, among other things, as it looks to combine haute cuisine with technology.
For further insight on regional trends, country highlights and key data findings, see the full reports on Consumer Foodservice in Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. Subscribers to our Passport system can directly access these regional insights. For more information on Passport, please visit us here.