Deliveries beef up number of 2019 eatery openings
Thailand's food business is thriving as the number of new restaurants last year almost doubled from 2018, driven by continuous growth in food delivery service and entrepreneurship.
Wongnai, Thailand's leading lifestyle platform, reported yesterday the number of new restaurants tallied 70,149 in 2019, up from 35,613 in 2018.
Yod Chinsupakul, chief executive of Wongnai, said the top 10 types of new eateries in 2019 were coffee shops, Thai restaurants, noodle shops, Isaan restaurants, street food, bubble milk tea shops, seafood, Japanese restaurants, fast food and steak.
The cafe trend grew both horizontally and vertically, with the number of cafes increasing by 50% last year.
Total restaurants numbered about 320,000 in 2019. Of the total, the three largest categories were Thai restaurants, valued at over 44 billion baht, followed by noodle shops at 32 billion and coffee shops worth 30 billion.
The top five provinces for new restaurants in 2019 were Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Pathum Thani and Chon Buri, with 18,000 eateries; 3,600; 2,300; 1,800 and 1,600, respectively.
This expansion jacked up the market value of the restaurant business to 415 billion baht in 2019. Based on Wongnai's website and application database, the food delivery business grew by 14% to 31.8 billion baht in 2019.
The top five provinces that opened the highest new restaurants were Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan provinces.
The five provinces that opened the fewest new restaurants were Nong Khai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Nong Bua Lamphu, Kalasin and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
"Operating a restaurant is the dream of many people but it is not easy. Based on our data, only 10% of new restaurants can stay afloat," Mr Yod said.
Thitivut Udomchaiyaporn, business development manager at Wongnai, said restaurant operators still have opportunities to drive their growth.
"Operators have to offer delivery to increase sales, and should launch new dishes every quarter, or create special items for delivery," he said.