KSA’s booming quick-service

KSA’s booming quick-service

Chadi Chidiac, managing partner of Protocol Hospitality Management and Consultancy, takes a closer look at the growth of KSA’s fast-food market in terms of healthier food options, improved customer service and product diversification.

The introduction of several dine-in and takeaway locations, and the introduction of healthy menu items, such as low-calorie burgers, charcoal-grilled chicken, shawarma, and plant-based fast food, has boosted the quick-service sector in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, ready-to-eat packaged foods that are high in preservatives and chemicals have been the main driver behind the fast-food hype in Saudi Arabia.

Ventures and acquisitions
Popeyes and Gulf First Fast-Food Company made the decision to merge in April 2021 to expand the fried chicken restaurant.

 State of the market
Time efficient by nature, fast food is becoming increasingly a popular alternative to home-cooked meals. Revenues from Saudi Arabia’s fast-food sector are forecast to increase due to the introduction of international food chains, the presence of expatriates, an increasing number of tourists and shifting food preferences.
Between 2017 and 2023, the size of Saudi Arabia’s fast-food is anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 6.9 percent due to high demand, consumers’ rising purchasing power, urbanization and the presence of numerous international and local fast-food chains. However, rising health concerns, such as diabetes and obesity, are causing businesses to increase their healthy food offerings.
The main income generators are focal point outlets. In 2016, the central region, which includes Riyadh, recorded the highest fast-food sales in Saudi Arabia due to the number of expatriates and high employment rates, hence a professional and time-conscious market.

Market trends
The Saudi Arabia fast food market is broken down by type, distribution channel and area. The Saudi Arabia quick-service marketplace offers lucrative opportunities in light of multiple governmental reforms and investments in the hospitality industry.

The kingdom’s fast-food industry is anticipated to generate hefty revenues in both the short and medium term. Expansion will be driven by young professionals with high income. In the coming years, food bloggers and influencers will further boost the growth of the sector, especially given the fact that social media is a strong business driver.

Chadi Chidiac
Managing partner of PROTOCOL



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