In 2020 and 2021, limited-service restaurants saw opportunities for cuisine types that had historically triumphed through delivery. Operators of limited-service restaurants were deeply affected by the pandemic, as most chained brands have a large proportion of their outlets residing in food courts, which had limited capacity.
During 2020 and at the beginning of 2021, Chileans were given three different opportunities to withdraw 10% of their retirement funds to withstand lockdowns and the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. In the first withdrawal, 90% of Chileans used this option to obtain money from their funds.
With the uncertainty of lockdowns, reduced capacity in-store, and the flexibility of working from home, players in limited-service restaurants amended their delivery strategies. Whilst before COVID-19, players carefully chose which player to form an alliance with, now many have opted to be in as many apps as possible to cater to a bigger audience.
Limited-service listings increased on delivery apps, as virtual brands and ghost kitchens boomed during 2021. Chained limited-service operators such as Unifood and Gastronomia y Negocios launched virtual brands and ghost kitchens to increase their audience and grow with a lower investment than opening more stores.
The flexibility of working from home has pushed consumers to move to mid-sized or small cities in the country. Chile is a country that is centred on its capital Santiago, and pre-pandemic, according to Servicio de Impuestos Internos (the Chilean IRS), Santiago accounted for 60% of the foodservice sales made in the country.
Although popular cuisines in Chile are pizza, burgers and sushi, there is a growing trend towards healthier vegetarian and vegan options within limited-service restaurants. Therefore, most players offer one or two options, although many do not understand or have the know-how to incorporate these types of foods into their menus in an efficient way for consumers or the business.
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Limited-Service Restaurants (LSR) combine fast food and 100% home delivery/takeaway outlets. These outlets offer limited menus with items that can be prepared quickly. Customers typically order, pay, and pick up their order from a counter, though some outlets can have limited table service. This also includes 100% Home Delivery/Takeaway which provide no facilities for consumption on the premises. LSR tend to specialize in one or two main entrees such as hamburgers, pizza, or chicken, but they usually also provide drinks, salads, ice cream, dessert, etc. Food preparation is generally simple and involves one or two steps, allowing for kitchen staffs generally consisting of younger, unskilled workers rather than professional chefs. Other key characteristics include: • A standardised and restricted menu • Tight individual portion control on all ingredients and on the finished product • Individual packaging of each item • Counter service • For Chained Limited Service Restaurants, chained and franchised operations which operate under a uniform fascia and corporate identity • Any outlet offering full-service restaurant seating with servers would be excluded, even if delivery service is available.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Fast Food research and analysis database.
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