Restaurants: a drastic drop in activity of 38% in 2020

The restaurant industry slipped last year due to the health crisis. Sales fell dramatically, but fast food still managed to do well.

The annual review of the catering sector published by NPD Group reflects the major difficulties encountered last year by the sector. In 2019, it represented 57 billion euros in turnover. In 2020, restaurant activity was limited to 35.6 billion, a drastic drop of 38%. Attendance has fallen 35% year over year. It could hardly have been otherwise given the many measures implemented by the government to reduce contamination: confinements, curfews… It is very difficult in these conditions to enjoy a restaurant. The crisis, which has deeply shaken the market according to the firm, has also confirmed a basic trend: take-out.

Takeaway sales on the rise

This activity has enabled many establishments to “ limit their losses », Explains NPD Group. In fact, take-out sales have simply doubled their market share: they were 15% in 2019, they are now 30%. Not enough to return to a normal level of activity, however, but thanks to this system restaurants were able to retain employees and customers were able to enjoy their favorite dishes. The annual review also notes that fast food has been able to do well in a very difficult context.

Fast food is gaining market share

Attendance has thus increased in fast food establishments. 36% of consumer visits concerned fast food restaurants in 2019: last year, it was 43%. Fast food is the only one that is making progress in this weakened market, the study indicates, by gaining 7 points of market share. This progression is achieved at the expense of table catering, company canteens and leisure and transport catering. The horizon for the entire sector is obviously the reopening of theaters. But we will have to wait for the government to authorize it.

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