Limited-service restaurants performed well in 2021 in terms of foodservice current value sales. The rebound from the steep drop in sales in 2020, due to the closure of outlets and ongoing limited operations in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), was supported by increased consumer confidence as the pandemic eased.
Food delivery services gained traction in limited-service restaurants in 2021. More outlets adapted to rising digital food delivery demand by joining new food delivery companies to increase their offer and reach and respond to their customers’ changing needs.
In 2021, the new uses and consumption habits of Italian consumers pushed entrepreneurs in limited-service restaurants to focus on new digital services, the diversification of their offer and higher-quality agri-food products. They also concentrated on improving kitchen spaces and making them more recognisable.
Delivery services and dark kitchens are not expected to replace traditional eating in limited-service restaurants, since the future of horeca is predicted to lie in physical outlets and the in-eatery experience. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has marked more deeply the difference between the world of home delivery and that of the sit-in experience.
Limited-service restaurants are expected to continue to develop in line with social distancing needs in the wake of COVID-19, at least in the short to medium term. This is likely to lead to larger dining areas or more personal space within establishments.
Over the forecast period, limited-service restaurants are expected to be characterised by specialisation and verticality, with the launch of themes, from sushi to taverns, from poke bowls to bubble tea. These major themes are developing in Italy, with, for example, Pacific Poke opening its 10th poke bowl outlet in 2021.
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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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