UAE residents increase frequency and average spend on dining out


More people are eating out in the UAE as compared to 12 months ago

The UAE’s F&B market presents a paradox for businesses – it has never been better and yet, it has also never been quite as challenging, according to KPMG’s new survey.

Findings show that the market is expected to grow by four percent till 2018 and that by 2019, the number of new outlets will increase by 1,600. This is despite the growth in supply having exceeded demand even in the present scenario.

“This highlights the need for both new entrants and existing players to avoid complacency,” said Anurag Bajpai, Retail and F&B Leader at KPMG and one of the authors of the survey. “There will be many examples of failure.”

As per the survey, while frequency and spend on dining out have increased, in this increasingly competitive market, customer experience, the quality of cuisine and digital engagement are critical enablers of success for individual establishments.

Assessing the factors that were most important when choosing a restaurant, the report states that “respondents viewed the quality and type of cuisine, along with service, as the most important factors. Cost, maybe surprisingly, was viewed as a relatively less important factor, suggesting [that] customers are prepared to pay for the right experience”. Sixty percent of those polled, in fact, said that cost was not an important factor for them.

Residents have increased their spend on eating out, with 53 percent reporting that they were spending more today as compared to 12 months ago. The survey revealed that 66 percent of the respondents eat dinner outside at least once a week, spending an average of AED120 per person. But a big percentage (39 percent) of those polled said that they spent an average of AED51 to AED100 on both eating out and ordering takeaway. This price point, KPMG believes, is where the sweet spot lies.

Other findings of the report show that casual dining and QSR (quick service restaurants) were most popular with UAE residents and that more than 40 percent referred to online reviews before visiting a restaurant for the first time.

The survey was conducted among 432 UAE residents, drawn from a mix of nationalities across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.




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