Self-service cafeterias experienced a marked decline in sales in 2020. This came as a result of the fact that the COVID-19 crisis significantly impacted key locations for self-service cafeterias, most prominently in the retail and travel environments.
Self-service cafeterias operators proved less capable of adapting to the dramatically changed market conditions resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. The category has a limited delivery offer, which did not see significant expansion during 2020.
Self-service cafeterias is one of the few categories in which chained operators dominate in terms of value sales and outlets. Chained brands have gained share from independent operators as their locations are situated in important strategic locations in airports and railway stations, which are hard for independent operators to enter.
Self-service cafeterias operators will need to adapt their menus in response to changing consumer habits and tastes in order to remain competitive during the forecast period. In particular, they will need to target the rise in consumer health-awareness, which has been bolstered by the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increasing interest in both the perceived authenticity and natural ingredients provided by artisanal-style products.
Given the key locations of such outlets, the recovery of the retail and travel industries will be key to the recovery of self-service cafeterias during the forecast period. The recovery of both industries will be hindered by continued consumer concerns about exposure to the COVID-19 virus and the lasting economic impact of measures introduced to limit the spread of the pandemic.
Chained self-service cafeterias are in a stronger position to expand in the new market conditions of the forecast period than independent rivals. Chained brands will continue to gain share from independent operators as their outlets are situated in key strategic locations in airports and railway stations where the barrier to entry is significantly higher for independent operators.
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This report originates from Passport, our Self-Service Cafeterias research and analysis database.
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