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3 Jul 2013


Restaurant Chains, Asian Food Still Outshines (Current Issue No. 2377 Full Ed.)

Given the substantial value in food business, consumer food services also have a large market value. KResearch projects that in 2013, the catering industry will probably have a total market value of about THB669 billion. Of this, THB488.37 billion may go to independent consumer foodservice, while THB180.63 billion would go to chained consumer foodservice. During 2H13, vigorous competition among chain restaurants will likely increase due to:
  • Changing Thai lifestyles: This is reflected in smaller families, urbanized environments, rushed routines and the daily minimum wage hike to THB300, all having influenced people to eat out, and chain restaurants are becoming favorites due to their standardized food and service as well as clean settings; effective marketing campaigns are also motivating greater patronage.
  • Extended service areas: Opportunities for such restaurants to expand branches come whenever new department stores, community malls or other large modern trade facilities are open in potential areas. This usually guarantees more patronage and new customers.
  • The launch of new restaurants by international operators: Thailand has long been an attraction for restaurant chains from abroad, although there are already many competitors in the market. These food chains hope to attract both locals and foreign tourists.
  • Promotional collaboration with business partners: One of the more common practices is to collaborate with financial institutions that can use their credit cards as promotional tools to motivate consumers to eat at business-allied restaurants.

KResearch predicts that in 2013, the market value of the above segment will reach THB97.43 billion, growing 14 percent YoY over the THB85.46 billion in 2012. The top three menus dominating chain restaurant market are chicken/burgers, sukiyaki/shabu and general Japanese food. Interestingly, the restaurants exhibiting high growth rates are those serving Thai food, sukiyaki/shabu, grilled meats and Japanese menu items, all being Asian cuisine. Cooked with Oriental techniques, Asian food offers harmonious flavors that delight Thais, and are served in a manner to be shared together around a table. Marketing also plays a part here; branches offer local convenience, and some operators try to target specific customer segments with sub-brands. Fast service, reasonable prices, food variety and frequent promotions all combine to strengthen popularity.

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