Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa, a lockdown was installed from March 2020, which prohibited dining within full-service restaurants, and required consumers to stay at home as much as possible.
The pandemic consolidated the momentum gained by health and wellness, with many consumers becoming increasingly aware of their nutritional intake, with the focus of the health pandemic accelerating this trend. In addition, safety and hygiene were top of mind, with consumers being very cautious of what they touched and whom they interacted with.
Thanks to a robust balance sheet and strong brand equity, Spur managed to keep the majority of its outlets active during the crisis. To achieve this, the company focused on reducing operating costs while adapting the operating environment by launching new virtual brands.
Recovery in full-service restaurants will be supported by the successful roll-out of the vaccine, ongoing loosening of restrictions and the eventual economic improvement. During the early forecast period, prevailing economic constraints will put additional pressure on full-service restaurants, as consumers will eat out less and opt for smaller portions and single-course meals, in a reflection of their disposable incomes.
Digitalisation is expected to continue reshaping the landscape of full-service restaurants across the forecast period, as more outlets adjust their business models to address the increased demand for convenience. This will also be aligned to improved internet penetration.
The interest in health and nutrition increased in 2020, with consumers being cautious to remain fit and healthy against the threat of COVID-19. This is expected to accelerate the existing health and wellness trend across the coming years, with the pandemic having increased consumers’ health awareness.
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