International border closures for inbound tourists dampened the growth of full-service restaurants in 2020. In Malaysia, the border remained closed throughout December 2020 since COVID-19 cases surged in October and November.
Chained full-service restaurants experienced a drastic decline in 2020, although slightly slower than independent full-service restaurants. Chained Asian and North American full-service restaurants recorded a sharp decrease in current value foodservice sales in 2020.
Independent full-service restaurants switched focus to simplify menu offerings and strengthen online delivery in 2020. The restriction of two persons per small table and four persons per large table during the Recovery Movement Control Order (July-December 2020) discouraged consumers from dining in.
Full-service restaurants is expected to see a slow recovery in the forecast period. Despite the expectation to return to positive growth in 2021, full-service restaurants may only return to pre-pandemic levels of current value sales in 2024.
Full-service restaurants operators will likely continue focusing on improving menu offerings and strengthening home delivery in the forecast period. Eat-in sales are expected to continue dominating full-service restaurants, and will improve once the Recovery Movement Control Order is lifted (currently projected to be in 2021).
Chained full-service restaurants operators are predicted to concentrate on new outlet formats, particularly with standalone location introductions, in the forecast period. For example, Berjaya Roasters plans to open more Kenny Rogers Roasters in small formats, mainly grab-and-go concept stores over the forecast period.
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