With the border closed for almost two years, chained limited-service restaurants players in Thailand shifted their focus from inbound tourists to local consumers. Typically, chained limited-service restaurants’ core consumers are higher income expats and tourists.
Limited-service restaurants players continued to focus on the development of their delivery capabilities in 2021, as COVID-19-related restrictions on the operations of physical outlets (including restrictions on the number of dine-in customers allowed) and consumer concerns about viral transmission through social contact undermined dine-in sales. With many consumers shifting to remote working, there was an increase in eating at home, though limited time for preparing and cooking meals.
The markedly changed market conditions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis prompted chained limited-service restaurants players to try to adapt through experimentation with new formats. This included the launch of new types of outlets intended to generate sales at a time when the potential for dine-in sales was limited.
While the forecast period is set to see consumers return to dining in as the immediate threat from COVID-19 recedes, food delivery capabilities will remain a key focus of limited-service restaurants players’ strategies. Consumers have become familiar with ordering food for home delivery, particularly online, and have come to appreciate the convenience of having food delivered.
Limited-service restaurants players’ efforts to tailor their menus to the preferences and purchasing power of local consumers are likely to continue in the early part of the forecast period, as the revival of international travel is expected to be gradual. Even as borders around the world are opened, consumers are likely to be reluctant to commit to long-distance international travel because of concerns about potential exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the heightened budget-consciousness resulting from the deep economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the already significant shift towards digital channels in consumer lifestyles and limited-service restaurants players’ development strategies. Home seclusion and the shift to remote working and distance learning have significantly enhanced consumers’ digital engagement, forcing consumers to turn to online resources for a wide range of everyday purposes spanning socialising, entertainment, work, study and shopping.
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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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