China’s catering industry is expected to cross CNY4 trillion ($620bn) this year as it grew “fast” over the last four decades.
A report by China Cuisine Association has shown that the sector’s revenue was at CNY5.5bn ($858m) in 1978, which was when the country opened-up its market. However, last year the market surged by almost 700 times.
Titled ‘China’s Catering Industry Development Report 2018’, the report states that within the growth of online-to-offline business (or O2O), a strategy that enables customers to place their orders online and make purchases in physical stores, ‘online meal ordering’ has become a viable option after ‘cooking at home’ and ‘dining out’ for consumers.
The sales in the online takeaway market were more than CNY300bn (around $47bn) in 2017, which is almost 14 times higher than in 2011, when the market was recorded at CNY20.37bn ($3.17bn).
Out of the total sales of consumer goods in 2017, the country’s catering industry had a 10.8% share. In the overall consumption growth, the segment’s contribution stood at 11.3%.
Four decades ago, the country had less than 120,000 restaurants. Last year, restaurant count reached 8 million.
The sector employed about 1.04 million people in 1978, which has grown to 30 million people.
China has the world’s second largest catering industry after the US.