Sales grow but the pace begins to slacken
The catering industry in China experienced rapid and continuous revenue growth over the past few years. While the rate remained a strong 8.9 percent for the first eight months of 2013, it was off from the 13.1 percent pace of 2012 during the same period, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China. The industry also felt the negative impact of bird flu and a series of food safety scandals.
The growth slowdown coincided with a rise in food, labor and rent costs that especially hurt the small local brands that dominate this fragmented industry. While many restaurants closed locations this year, Quanjude and Yonghe King, the two catering brands in the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands, expanded.
Quanjude invested in several initiatives, such as developing its sub-brands and remodeling existing locations. Yonghe King emphasized the convenience of its fast food offering with restaurants open 24/7 and various ways of preordering through a call center, website and even a mobile app.