Novel Growth Avenues for GCC Hospitality and Foodservice Sector
Consumer choices and technology innovation generate growth opportunities in the new normal
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The COVID-19 pandemic showed that change is unavoidable and industries cannot depend on a permanent status quo. The revenue loss registered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hospitality and foodservice industry in 2020 is proof of the crisis’ scale, with cumulative financial loss expected to be between $50 and $60 billion. Since health, hygiene, and well-being are consumers’ prime focus in the new normal, hospitality establishments need to adopt innovative elements into their core functioning to meet these needs. There will be significant design and structure overhauls of various spaces such as dining, salons, and spas in 2021.
Traditional hospitality and foodservice business models ceased during lockdowns. Crowding and clustering of guests was the norm, which is ill-advised and illegal amid current restrictions. Now is the best time for the industry to explore changing consumer behavior and derive key touchpoints that will become critical success factors in the new normal. The hospitality industry is part of the service sector and comprises six major segments: lodging, in-room dining, events, tourism and transport, restaurants, and catering.
The foodservice industry includes businesses, institutions, and companies responsible for any meal prepared outside the home, such as restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, and many other formats. The report covers the lodging, in-room dining, events, tourism and transport, restaurants, and catering segments. The KSA and the UAE have a majority position in the GCC hospitality and foodservice industry, contributing approximately 80% of the market revenue. Consequently, they are the worst impacted by the pandemic.
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