Following the upheaval caused by the pandemic, many self-service cafeterias may continue with the new business models introduced in the pandemic, whilst other will reposition and, backed by renewed investment, this will add growth to the overall category. The recovery of self-service cafeterias at retail outlets will also rise in alignment with foot traffic to such outlets.
Taiwan’s leading buffet restaurant operator, Feastogether Corp, owns a number of well-known brands such as Eatogether, Fruitful Food, Xuji Sunrise, which were popular dine-in venues prior to the pandemic. The pandemic triggered a turning point for these brands, and indeed the self-service cafeteria category, when players pivoted to offer home delivery food services.
In a more competitive landscape where players must align with post-pandemic consumption habits, buffet restaurants will need to reposition and revamp themselves in order to attract customers. During the pandemic, eat-all-you-can restaurants recorded the biggest decline, whilst some self-service cafeterias decided to enter full-service restaurants.
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Self-service cafeterias are outlets where there is no (or limited) service content. Rather than table service, there are food-serving counters/stalls where customers take the food they require as they walk along, placing it on a tray. In addition, there are often stations where customers order food and wait while it is prepared, particularly for items such as hamburgers or tacos which must be served hot and can be prepared quickly. For some food and drink items, customers collect an empty container, pay at the check-out, and fill the container after check-out. Free second servings are often allowed under this system. For legal purposes (and the consumption patterns of customers), this system is rarely or never used for alcoholic beverages. Self-service cafeterias do not have a cover charge, customers are either charged a flat rate for admission (as in a buffet) or pay at the check-out for each item. Some cafeterias also charge by weight. Self-service cafeterias resemble contract catering self-service cafeterias such as canteens, dining halls and cafeterias located within institutions such as a large office building, school and universities. However, fully captive contract self-service cafeterias are excluded from consumer foodservice. Unlike fast food, self-service cafeterias feature a menu comprising full, regular meals, often with a large choice of first course, main course and desserts. As cafeterias can effectively serve large number of customers with comparatively few employees, they are often found within larger complexes, for example, department stores, shopping malls, travel foodservice (motorways stations, railway stations, airports). Self-service cafeteria examples include: Ciao (Autogrill), Flunch (Agapes Restauration SA), IKEA (Inter Ikea Systems BV)See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Self-Service Cafeterias research and analysis database.
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