Full-service restaurants is the biggest consumer foodservice channel in Finland in both outlet and value terms. The channel has benefited from Finns’ increased interest in experimenting with what they eat and where, a better culinary scene especially in Helsinki and, towards the end of the review period, from an economy performing better than it did for a long time.
While the majority of full-service restaurant sales come from outlets best described as European, concepts offering menus from origins further afield slowly increased their share in the review period, a development which is expected to continue. The internationalisation of plate contents in Finland continues to thrive due to factors such as increased travel abroad by Finns, a more adventurous attitude to food and, from the pull side, simply more venues for international options for those interested in them.
In 2018, S Group’s Amarillo created minor, short-term disruption with its concept change, highlighting a more social role for its staff, including new titles such as “bartainers” and “cheftainers”, and a focus on local marketing in social media. Finnish customer service has traditionally been rather low-key and straight to the point; hence, the new concept in 2018 was met with negative feedback for its presumed falseness.
Full-service restaurants is the consumer foodservice channel in Finland dominated by independent concepts most strongly, with many chains themselves having just a few outlets, not a number to bring easy name recognition even in a country the size of Finland. Beyond the surface, however, many outlets which have individual branding are run by giants such as S Group and NoHo Partners, which not only focus on chains but also run individual concepts, some with the full-service concept.
In full-service restaurants, where even the biggest chain network, that of domestic Pancho Villa, consists of a relatively small number of outlets, foreign brands are even more of a rarity, limited to O’Learys, Pizza Hut and a single Hard Rock Café. These have rather limited growth prospects, and there have been no announcements of any significant international brand planning to launch large-scale operations in Finland.
The review period did not see the launch of any significant new chain. For instance, Frans & les Femmes was not built from scratch but was an update of the Fransmanni concept.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Consumer Foodservice market research database.