Food and beverage operators in the UAE have responded to headwinds facing the industry by enhancing operations and rationalizing costs to maintain margins, while opting to exit loss-making outlets and struggling brands, according to new research.
KPMG’s 2018 F&B Report said the UAE continues to lead the market in the Middle East region, stimulated by a growing number of tourists. The sector’s growth is further supported by the entry of new international and regional brands.
It added that the restaurant footprint – the number of restaurants per million residents – in Dubai remains high, second only to Paris.
According to the report, among all formats in the UAE, quick-service restaurants were more popular in 2018 due to value-seeking customers.
For premium dining outlets, relatively steady patronage for certain popular brands and concepts continued, with hotel-based premium licensed offerings facing increased competition from licensed non-hotel outlets.
The report also found that the delivery segment witnessed year-on-year growth and use of rental kitchens is a trend that is picking up in the UAE. As many as 32 percent of operators (versus 21 percent last year) attribute more than a quarter of their revenue to the delivery channel.