Independent self-service cafeteria’s performance was negatively affected in 2020 due to a decrease in food traffic caused by the emergence of COVID-19 and subsequent social distancing measures, especially in central business districts and shopping centres. Consumers increasingly stayed away from visiting crowded places due to the fear of infection which led to a decline in eat-in orders.
As noted in other countries, South Korean consumers spent longer periods of time at home than usual due to the pandemic and social distancing measures in 2020. However, the home seclusion trend supported a greater interest in home decoration amongst consumers, which supported a relatively positive performance by home and garden specialist retailers over the year.
Unmanned ordering and payment systems have not been widely used in self-service cafeteria in South Korea despite relatively early adoption. However, since demand for contactless orders spiked due to COVID-19, players installed an increasing number of kiosks to provide customers with a smooth ordering experience.
Although certain retailers such as Hyundai Department Store Co Ltd take pride in offering a collection of hand-selected consumer foodservice brands in their outlets, it has been a challenge for many other retailers to operate self-service cafeterias directly due to the lack of expertise in capturing the fast-changing trends noted in consumer foodservice. Start-ups that specialise in “select-dining” are emerging as business partners for such retailers, supporting the efforts of stores to attract consumers and optimise operations.
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This report originates from Passport, our Self-Service Cafeterias research and analysis database.
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