The food service industry comprises all companies and establishments that provide gastronomic service or experience apart from home-cooked food. Foodservice includes restaurants, cafes, bars, street stalls, caterers, as well as institutional food services for schools, hotels, hospitals, and airlines. In Brazil, one of the major food service markets in Latin America, this industry is responsible for the largest share of tourism jobs and accounts for over half of the revenue in that sector as well.
How did COVID-19 impact the Brazilian food service industry?
Even though Brazil's traditional cuisine is, for the most part, made up of beans, rice, meat, and exotic fruits, Brazilian consumers are particularly drawn to fast food restaurants. International chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King have become increasingly popular among Brazilians, boosting the expansion of this kind of restaurant in the years before COVID-19. Besides fast food, Japanese cuisine is by far the favorite ethnic food in the South American nation. This preference is linked to the Japanese diaspora in Brazil, which constitutes the nation's largest community outside Japan.
Pizza also makes one of the most popular meals in the Portuguese-speaking country, so much so that this food has its official day in Brazil, celebrated on July 10th each year. While worldwide renowned brands such as Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut are present in the country, Brazilians have also made the all-you-can-eat format known as ‘rodízio’ one of the most popular options for serving the iconic Italian dish.
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Ana M. López
Research expert covering travel, tourism and hospitality