Self-service cafeterias witnessed steep declines in sales during the pandemic as most are in business and retail centres, with heavy footfall in shopping centres. The pandemic brought about changes in consumer lifestyles as more New Zealanders worked from home, with business centres and retail centres experiencing significant declines in customers.
Some buffet-style self-service cafeterias struggled with issues relating to food safety and potential transmission of the virus. New Zealand has been recovering quiet well compared to other countries in the world, although international travel restrictions have slashed the numbers of inbound tourists frequenting retail centres, leading their consumer base to decline significantly.
In contrast to traditional food courts, food halls emphasise local vendors and fresh ingredients. They tend to be owner-operator driven and trade on authenticity and creating a customer experience.
Self-service cafeterias is expected to witness only a modest increase in outlet numbers over the forecast period as most struggle to be flexible in terms of resources, labour and digital capabilities to diversify offerings and channels to adapt to changing consumer preferences. The inability to streamline services and labour while ensuring profit margins in building delivery services will prove to be challenging for self-service cafeterias as they struggle with dwindling demand in business and retail centres as many New Zealanders continue to work from home into the forecast period.
Self-service cafeterias will face the ongoing challenge of available space within busy inner-city venues and shopping venues. As social distancing measures remain in place, self-service cafeterias usually located in busy city centres will find it challenging to adhere to strict guidelines on tight margins.
Both locals and tourists are increasingly attracted to the international cuisine offered by self-service cafeterias in New Zealand. Food courts are particularly popular among Chinese and Filipino tourists, as well as locals seeking new and inventive foods and this trend will support growth going forward as tourists begin to return to the country.
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This report originates from Passport, our Self-Service Cafeterias research and analysis database.
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