Chains outperform independent eateries in China restaurant rankings, new research shows.
A survey by global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants shows that Chinese consumers dine out on average two or three times a week, with Hai Di Lao, Pizza Hut and Little Sheep ranking as their favourite brands.
Western brands ranking in the top 10 are: McDonald’s (7), TGI Friday’s (8) and KFC (9). Others on the list are South Beauty (4), Shanghai Min (5), Waipojia (6) and Tairyo (10).
Food quality, wide choice and service quality shows as the three critical factors in restaurant choice, while serving speed, convenience and pricing are rated as less important Chinese consumers actively seek out new restaurants and are receptive to new formats and concepts such as theming, healthy lifestyle menus and organic produce, as well as innovative, fusion cuisine.
According to the report, Serving up a Winner – Establishing a Winning Proposition in China’s Restaurant Landscape, China’s restaurant market is more vibrant than ever, with growth outstripping other major markets despite higher volatility.
“While other retail segments struggle in the face of ‘the new normal’, restaurants are becoming more innovative and reaping the benefits of the growing middle class,” says OC&C greater China partner Jack Chuang. “The arrival and rapid expansion of international chains in the past few years has increased the competitiveness of the market.”
He says getting diners through the door of a restaurant is still challenging. “Restaurant staff need to ensure that service is authentic and make creative, personalised decisions to delight guests.”
Chuang says restaurants should also offer a wide menu range with local flavour.
The study canvassed 2600 respondents in 21 cities across China, with consumer surveys and restaurant audits in February.
Founded in 1987, OC&C provides corporate and business strategy, channel, marketing, organisational and change strategy, as well as transactional support services. It has more than 400 consultants in 14 offices globally, including China and India. The greater China practice has offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai.