Full-Service Restaurants in Asia Pacific

May 2021

Sales at full-service restaurants (FSR) went into steep decline in 2020, negatively impacted by measures taken to contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Among these restrictions were shutdowns of foodservice outlets or such establishments only being allowed to open for home delivery or takeaway, with such services generally better developed at and suited to channels like limited-service restaurants (LSR). A return to positive growth rates is expected post-pandemic from 2021.

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Key findings

Strong historic period sales

The FSR channel was recording positive value sales growth rates up to 2020 in Asia Pacific. While Japanese sales were stagnating and Hong Kong had seen a decline in 2019 due to the local protests, most other countries, including China, were recording healthy annual sales increases. Asian FSR continued to drive sales in China, the dominant market, although other channels, such as European, were seeing more dynamic growth, thanks to rising interest in exotic cuisines, supported by increased international travel and the influence of the internet.

Collapse in sales due to COVID-19 in 2020

FSR sales slumped in 2020 as the pandemic hit the region. Among the more damaging measures taken to control the spread of the virus was the closure of foodservice outlets. Even once reopened, social distancing and other safety measures remained in place for eat-in, with FSRs not generally as adept and well-developed as certain other formats in terms of offering home delivery/takeaway.

Independent Asian FSRs dominate sales

In China, which accounted for 69% of regional sales in 2020, the extremely fragmented FSR channel is dominated by independent players. The strength of independent operators means that players grouped under “others” account for 98% of sales in China, with no single company holding a value share of even as much as 1%. While chained players generally coped a little better during the pandemic, independent restaurants will continue to dominate FSR in this country.

Return to positive growth over the forecast period

The post-pandemic period will see Asia Pacific returning to positive growth rates in real value terms, with sales expected to reach 2019 levels again in 2023. Although FSR do not lend themselves as well to take-out as certain other foodservice channels, digitalisation, alongside returning customers, will help to play a role in driving growth over the forecast period.


Key findings

Regional Overview

Asia Pacific boasts the highest sales level among the global regions
Asia Pacific expected to bounce back with strong growth in 2021
China records heavy losses, particularly in Asian FSR
Japanese FSR already declining before the arrival of the pandemic
Asian FSR account for the bulk of lost sales in 2020
Chained players cope a little better than independents in 2020
Standalone continues to dominate sales
Travel the worst-hit channel by the pandemic in 2020

Leading Companies and Brands

FSR extremely fragmented, particularly in China
HaiDiLao continues increasing its share at the head of FSR
Japan the main market for the bulk of the top 10 players
Hai Di Lao Hot Pot records strong growth over the historic period

Forecast Projections

FSR expected to see a strong rebound in 2021…
…with further positive growth over the rest of the forecast period

Country Snapshots

China: Market Context
China: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Hong Kong, China: Market Context
Hong Kong, China: Competitive and Retail Landscape
India: Market Context
India: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Indonesia: Market Context
Indonesia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Japan: Market Context
Japan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Malaysia: Market Context
Malaysia: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Philippines: Market Context
Philippines: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Singapore: Market Context
Singapore: Competitive and Retail Landscape
South Korea: Market Context
South Korea: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Taiwan: Market Context
Taiwan: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Thailand: Market Context
Thailand: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Vietnam: Market Context
Vietnam: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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