Following the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, all fast food operators had to increase menu prices by at least 30% in 2017. This led Egyptians of all income levels to visit fast food establishments less often, and also made consumers more budget-conscious when they did frequent such outlets.
Healthy fast food is still a very new concept in Egypt, with demand restricted to a niche consumer base. For most Egyptians, the idea of healthy fast food is mainly limited to grilled meat and vegetables.
While most chained fast food players struggled with rising costs and the unfavourable economic climate in 2017, independents were even worse affected. This was mainly because they did not have the leverage of bulk buying when dealing with suppliers, which made it much harder for them to offer competitive prices to consumers.
Due to the fallout from the economic crisis, towards the end of the review period, fast food players in Egypt faced increasing competition from other types of foodservice operators. In particular, fast food outlets had to contend with a growing threat from cafés, full-service restaurants and 100% home delivery/takeaway operators offering more affordable menu items made with cheaper local ingredients.
Rents in shopping malls such as City Stars, Mall of Arabia, Mall of Egypt and Cairo Festival City have reached very high levels in recent years. As a result, such locations are now mainly only affordable to well-established chains like McDonald’s, KFC, Panda House Express, Pizza Hut and Burger King, with independent fast food outlets becoming an increasingly rare sight in malls and food courts.
Middle Eastern fast food outlets typically have very wide menus, offering an extensive array of dishes at different price points. Dishes containing chicken, meat or fish are more expensive, while dishes such as taameya, foul, tehina and dips are cheaper and a popular choice for sharing among 2-4 people.
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This report originates from Passport, our Fast Food research and analysis database.
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