DUBAI: The restaurant industry in the UAE has achieved close to the same total of dine-in spending in the first three months of the year, as it did during the same period in 2020, before pandemic-induced lockdowns were implemented.
According to Network International, dine-in spending dipped just 1 percent in the first quarter, compared to Q1 2020 figures – describing it as a negligible decline.
The highest growth in dine-in point of sale was in the quick bites category, which includes fast food, street food, food trucks, and bakeries, the company said.
Spending at cafes also increased by mid-single digits in Q1 compared to last year.
In terms of cuisine, the café food and drink segment registered the highest rebound, followed by European and Middle Eastern cuisine.
The pandemic has forced restaurants to invest in digital and contactless technology, the report noted, to adapt to changing consumer behavior.
“Understanding spending patterns is critical for businesses that want to position themselves to meet evolving customer preferences,” Ian Jiggens, president of advisory and information services at Network, said in a statement.
The report said the recovery will continue at a “modestly optimistic pace.”
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