Residents enjoy street food at stalls at a plaza in Beijing. Beer, skewers and various snacks allow citizens to enjoy the fun of open-air dining. Night markets have been an impetus for China’s recovering economy. Photo: VCG
Chain catering giants are embracing China’s recovery from the pandemic, and the coming holidays are further lifting their confidence.
Yum China Holdings, owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut chains in China, had its Hong Kong trading debut recently. Separately, McDonald’s China has launched a talent training program in which it will invest more than 100 million yuan ($14.68 million) by 2022.
McDonald’s China will work with more than 100 vocational schools across China to help over 10,000 young people become more employable.
Phyllis Cheung, CEO of McDonald’s China, told the Global Times that the company still plans to increase the number of stores to 4,500 by the end of 2022, and about 430 outlets will be added this year.
“If there is a chance, we will accelerate the plan, because we are very confident in the long-term growth of the Chinese market,” she said.
She added that more than 50 percent of the new stores will be opened in smaller cities such as third-tier cities this year, and most will have large areas.
The catering industry is confident because China has gradually controlled the coronavirus, which has provided a sound foundation for the sector.
Photo: Courtesy of McDonald’s China
In August, catering revenue was 361.9 billion yuan, down 7 percent year-on-year, but the rate of decline was 4 percentage points less than in the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
According to the China Hospitality Association, the catering sector is showing gradual improvement. At the beginning of April, the rate of resumption was 77.84 percent, but it rose to 85.37 percent during the May Day holidays.
The catering sector is being supported by the recovery of demand as well as the coming National Day holidays.
Consulting firm McKinsey & Co said in a report recently that the recovery of domestic tourism has further consolidated, and it is expected that consumers will increase their willingness to travel from the National Day holidays to the end of the year. People’s confidence in safety and actual travel enthusiasm will gradually return to pre-epidemic levels.
It predicted that second-half tourism consumption will take place mainly on public holidays such as the National Day holidays.