While recording a significant decline in foodservice value terms in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions, which heavily impacted retail locations including shopping centres which house many limited-service restaurants in Spain, the channel proved to be more resilient compared to cafés/bars and full-service restaurants, resulting in a low number of outlet closures in comparison. However, outlet numbers continued to decline in 2021, impacted by limits on capacity and the fact that limited-service restaurants lack adequate outside areas for consumption.
Pizza and burger remained the most popular types of limited-service restaurants in Spain in 2021. Despite recording declining value sales the previous year, outlet numbers remained resilient with further openings noted in 2021.
With the changing lifestyles of Spaniards towards healthier choices, local consumers are becoming increasingly interested in vegetarian and even vegan options when they choose to dine out, or order convenient takeaway or home delivery. This is because vegetarian and vegan food is increasingly considered to be healthier or more ethical.
While limited-service restaurants is predicted to fully recover in value sales terms (at constant 2021 prices) over the forecast period, this is unlikely to be before 2024. While home delivery is predicted to gain further momentum, driven by new habits formed during the pandemic, other convenient options will increasingly gain traction, and offer competition.
With a diverse landscape and increasing competition from other foodservice channels, operators of limited-service restaurants will be seeking to improve the quality and diversification of their menus to maintain consumer interest in Spain. Local consumer preferences towards the end of the review period shifted to products offering higher quality, and therefore, limited-service restaurants have been successfully experimenting with new products and flavours, often mixing different cuisines.
A change in local consumer habits had already emerged prior to the emergence of COVID-19, but received a further boost during the pandemic, both because of the immediate threat from the disease and awareness of the potential health impact of the sedentary lifestyles typical of home seclusion. Moving forward, many Spaniards are likely to focus more on following healthy lifestyles and eating well.
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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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