China's catering industry prospers during May Day holiday

(People's Daily Online) 10:30, May 09, 2023

China's catering sector witnessed a robust recovery during this year's May Day holiday.

Sales of key catering enterprises increased by 57.9 percent year on year during the five-day holiday, according to data released by the country's Ministry of Commerce.

Data from Chinese food delivery giant Meituan showed that in the first three days of the holiday, the online catering consumption volume across the country soared 92 percent compared to 2019.

People enjoy food at a night market in Kaifeng, central China’s Henan Province, April 30, 2023. ( Junsheng)

"Chinese catering enterprises have enhanced the ability to adapt to changes in the market. Most of them were fully prepared before the holiday," said Chen Xinhua, president of the China Hospitality Association.

Chen added that the booming catering sector during the holiday epitomized the strong recovery of the consumption market in China and played a positive role in boosting confidence and promoting the high-quality development of the sector.

A restaurant in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province sold 26 tonnes of crayfish on one of the days during the holiday.

"I started to line up after 4 p.m. at the restaurant and nearly 100 tables were already reserved," said Yu Pinghe, a tourist from Beijing.

Liu Guoliang, president of the Wuhan Catering Association, said catering sales in the city's commercial complexes, food streets and scenic areas during the holiday exceeded the 2019 levels for the same period.

Since the beginning of this year, China's catering sector has experienced a positive momentum. In the first quarter, the country's catering revenue exceeded 1.21 trillion yuan ($175 billion), up 13.9 percent year on year. Catering revenue in particular rose 26.3 percent in March.

"Thanks to a series of pro-consumption policies, China's catering sector got off to a good start," said Yang Liu, president of the China Cuisine Association.

Yang said revenue of the country's catering sector accounted for over 10 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods for 10 consecutive years. The fundamentals sustaining the catering market's steady and long-term growth remain unchanged.

In the first three months of this year, 762,000 new enterprises in the catering sector were set up, a 30.5 percent increase from the same period last year, according to data from Qichacha, a leading platform offering company information services. Of particular note, 7,740 coffee-related enterprises were registered in the same period, up 119 percent year on year.

Consumption enthusiasm in the catering sector during the May Day holiday will further boost investment confidence in the sector, and is conducive to expanding domestic demand, stimulating consumption, and promoting sound and steady economic development, said Li Jiwei, deputy head of the Meituan Research Institute under Meituan.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Du Mingming)


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