Restaurant dining took a major hit last year as pandemic-induced lockdowns and fear of social outings slashed demand, but the sector is set to bounce back, reaching $70 billion in 2025 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, research shows.
The MENA restaurant and food court market in 2018 was estimated at approximately $55 billion. But by 2025, the online food service market in the MENA region is expected to grow by $15 billion – more than four times its $3.5 billion market size in 2018 – driven by consumers continued stickiness for e-convenience and the vast and growing food and restaurants options, according to the market research, conducted by RedSeer Consulting, a global consultancy firm specializing in online services.
Emerging models such as curbside delivery, ordering kiosks and click-and-collect are the other drivers identified by the market study for the hyper growth projected for the food services market in the region.
Curbside pickup enables customers to wait in their vehicle for restaurant staff to bring their orders, while ordering kiosks – placed in front of the restaurant or on each table – allow customers to place their orders and send them directly to the restaurant kitchen without an in-person interaction with staff.
Click-and-collect is a facility that allows customers to order food online through a restaurant website or app and collect them physically from the restaurant.
“The MENA offline food service market [restaurants and food courts], which was roughly $55 billion in 2018, has witnessed a big drop last year to $35 billion. In 2021 forward, we expect the market will start to recover and reach around $70 billion in the year 2025,” the research report said.
“Although the dine-in segment suffered in 2020 because of the restrictions, we expect the segment to recover by 2022 and start growing post that,” Sandeep Ganediwalla, Dubai-based managing partner of RedSeer Consulting, told Arabian Business.
As for the online food service market in the region, the market size doubled to $7 billion in 2020 from around $3.5 billion in 2018. From 2021 onwards, we expect the market to grow at a steady rate and reach around $15 billion in 2025,” the RedSeer study said.
“The online market will continue to grow as consumers continue to prioritise e-convenience and quick delivery, even as the availability of vast food and restaurant options are growing by the month.”
RedSeer said its study has shown that consumers are expected to resume their habit of social and dining outings in the wake of large-scale vaccination and easing of restrictions on mobility in many countries in the region, leading to rise in sales specifically for the full service and café restaurants that are currently suffering.
“We expect the trend to continue as we are seeing [growing] traction for our key offerings - Asian, Biryani, health and fast food. We are projecting a multi-fold increase in our cloud kitchen network in the next 2 years,” Jain said.
RedSeer said online food service market penetration is expected to remain stable at around 15-20 percent.
“Both online and offline [food services markets] are expected to double in 2025, compared to 2020. Food penetration will remain stable as offline recovery rate and online growth rate will be similar.
Experts expect that the offline market will start consolidating and will be driven by chained restaurants as consumers seek quality experience.
Source: Arabian Business