In 2021, full-service restaurants saw a recovery in the number of transactions and value sales, even though it will take several years for these numbers to reach pre-pandemic levels. The country was in lockdown until May 2021.
All in all, during 2020 and 2021, full-service restaurants have had to remain closed for a total of 12 months. The lockdown measures affected full-service restaurants more than limited-service restaurants because the latter were better prepared to offer home delivery/takeaway.
The major issue for full-service restaurants is that the majority of such outlets saw transactions and value sales plummet to such an extent in 2020 that the double-digit growth rates observed in 2021 were not sufficient to fully recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite more solid marketing and financial security than independent full-service restaurants, chains also took a backseat in 2020 and 2021.
The future for looks uncertain for full-service restaurants. By the time the COVID-19 pandemic started full-service restaurants were already on a downwards trend (with losses of almost EUR1 billion from 2015-2019), due to the fragile profitability of independent outlets.
Albeit showing reluctance a few years ago, full-service restaurant owners have started to realise that home delivery/takeaway options are the ideal way to reach a wider and younger consumer base, along with greater profitability (for example, VAT is 10% as opposed to 20%). However, this trend did not see a notable trajectory until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
Full-service restaurants suffered so much in 2020 and during the first half of 2021 that some owners have stated that for their next opening, they will not automatically favour prime locations that, for now, are too expensive, especially taking into account low profitability, fewer customers (due to work-from-home) and the explosion of home delivery/takeaway. In contrast to chained limited-service restaurants that continued to open new outlets in 2020 and 2021, chained full-service restaurants are more cautious, even though there are good bargains to be had if acquiring due to the high number of bankruptcies.
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FSR (full-service restaurants) encompasses all sit-down establishments where the focus is on food rather than on drink. FSR is characterized by table service and a relatively higher quality of food compared to quick-service units. Menus offer multiple selections and may include breakfast, lunch and dinner. Preparation of food products is often complex and involves multiple steps. NOTE: restaurants types catalogued in this segment refer to table-service only (outlets with a proper “full table service:” wait staff attending customers and taking orders at the tables). Outlets with “limited table service” are excluded from FSR. For example: outlets where customers order their food at the counter are excluded (even though the waiter will then bring the food at the table).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Full-Service Restaurants research and analysis database.
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