In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 Japan introduced a range of measures to help prevent the virus spreading. With regard to consumer foodservice this saw restrictions on eat-in services.
Throughout 2020, the government encouraged people to work remotely and promoted staying home where possible. Under these conditions, limited-service restaurants saw reduced business, especially in business districts.
Pizza limited-service restaurants was one of the few categories to post growth in 2020 in both current value and transaction terms, albeit with growth coming from a low base. Leading players Pizza-la and Domino's Pizza both registered dynamic growth in 2020, largely due to the spike in demand for takeaway/home delivery pizza.
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 limited-service restaurants largely focused on takeaway for its business, with consumers typically going to full-service restaurants when they wanted to eat in. However, partially driven by necessity, more full-service restaurants started offering takeaway and home delivery during 2020 and it is expected that the competition between the two channels will intensify, while the line between full-service and limited-service restaurants is expected to become increasingly blurred.
With little expectation of limited-service restaurants seeing significant growth over the forecast period it is anticipated that there will not be many new outlets opened, with many players focusing on consolidation in the wake of COVID-19. Nonetheless, for any new store openings that do emerge, it is expected that residential and rural areas will be targeted rather than locations near business districts or entertainment sites.
To expand delivery options/areas, a growing number of limited-service restaurants are partnering with delivery services such as Uber Eats and Demaekan, with this being seen as an effective way to increase their delivering capacity. From the customer’s perspective these services make it easy to compare menus and prices and also to be able to access customer reviews.
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