Business Dubai

Revealed: how strong is the UAE restaurants scene?

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.

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