Self-service cafeterias registered a very negative performance in 2020 as the entire channel suffered from a lack of customers. The main factor negatively influencing the channel over the course of year was the strict adherence to the principle of social distancing and home seclusion that was seen among the Turkish population during the year.
Another factor that contributed to the negative performance recorded in self-service cafeterias during 2020 was the government-mandated closure of all non-essential retail outlets for an extended period at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This formed a key plank of the official response to the COVID-19 pandemic and was seen as essential to attempts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus among the Turkish population.
The number of outlets operating in self-service cafeterias took a dive during 2020 as one in 10 businesses in the channel were forced to close down permanently. As mentioned above, the highly traditional eateries known as esnaf lokantasi that cater mainly to working people faced a bleak year due to the massive shift towards working from home that was seen among Turkish professionals and the widespread layoffs that resulted from the adverse economic situation unfolded over the course of the year.
The recovery of self-service cafeterias in Turkey over the forecast period is expected to be difficult and very slow. Indeed, a return to pre-COVID-19 levels of sales is not expected to be seen before the end of the forecast period, while the number of outlets is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2025.
One factor that can be expected to support the recovery of self-service cafeterias by bolstering demand during the forecast period is their relative price advantage. In comparison with other consumer foodservice channel such as limited-service restaurants and cafés/bars, self-service cafeterias often represent a very economical option.
Although chained self-service cafeterias emerged strongly over the review period, mainly those operated by chained large-format retailers as an adjunct to their retail operations, independent operators still rule the roost in the channel. This situation is not expected to change substantially during the forecast period, with virtually all of the traditional eateries known as esnaf lokantasi being independently owned and operated businesses.
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This report originates from Passport, our Self-Service Cafeterias research and analysis database.
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