China’s catering industry witnessed a robust recovery in 2023 with its total revenue close to 5.29 trillion yuan ($743bn) for the first time, has reported.

The official data was released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figure represents a record high for the sector. The industry’s resurgence has significantly contributed to the growth of related sectors.

The China Hospitality Association calculated that two trillion yuan of operating revenue growth was generated in the agricultural and sideline products sectors, as well as in food processing.

The data further revealed that among the 15.73 million catering enterprises across the country, more than 4.1 million were newly registered in 2023.

Private firms made up more than 80% of these new registrations, showcasing the sector’s dynamic private enterprise landscape.

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In July 2023, NBS reported that revenue from the catering industry grew 21% from the year earlier, reaching 2.5bn yuan in the six months ended 30 June.

The catering industry had the fastest revival of all consumer segments in the country in the first half of 2023, with several firms returning to profit, reported Yicai Global.

In January 2024, Chinese restaurant Xiao Caiyuan International Holding, which is backed by Harvest Capital, filed for an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Xiao Caiyuan operates more than 500 restaurants across China.

Last month, TH International (Tims China) partnered with ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing to build its brand.

Tims China operates Tim Hortons coffee shops and Popeyes restaurants in the country.

The partnership is expected to enhance Tims China’s visibility through cross-brand and cross-channel marketing initiatives by leveraging DiDi’s customer base.

In addition, Yum China, the region’s KFC and Pizza Hut operator, opened its 10,000th KFC location last month.

The first KFC in the country was opened in Beijing in 1987 and since then the restaurant brand has grown into one of the largest quick-serve restaurant brands in terms of sales.