Restaurant and food service industry in Thailand - Statistics & Facts

Visiting Thailand is on the bucket list for many people around the world for several reasons. These include its stunning natural resources, the hospitality of its people, exotic cultures, and the remarkable experiences of both its local and international food scenes. The restaurant industry in Thailand has been prosperous and its contribution to the nation’s GDP has been gradually increasing since 2009.   Evidently, the number of operating restaurants has also been rising since 2017. 

The thriving restaurant and food services industry 

Through the economy’s ups and downs, the restaurant industry often performs well. In the big cities where convenience is crucial, the variety of restaurants and trendy food services seem to be popular among Thai urbanites. In 2018, the food and restaurant industry held the highest share in terms of start-up deals in Thailand, even exceeding the e-commerce marketplace.  In addition, cafés and bars are some of the most popular meet-up locations for Thais. In 2017, Thai people spent around 116 U.S. dollars per head on cafés and bars alone.  Thailand is also known for its vast selection and availability of street food. With the hectic lifestyle that locals have, buying food from street stalls that are stationed all over the country are a suitable and sensible choice. The value of the street food market in Thailand also followed the demand of the consumers; it has been increasing over the past five years.

The rise of the food delivery market 

Along with the booming restaurant and foodservice industry, food delivery has also become a common choice among Thai consumers. Some of the key players in Thailand’s food delivery market, namely Foodpanda, GrabFood, Line Man, and Happy Fresh, came to be popular lunch and dinner channels for those who sought the ultimate in convenience. Thus, the market value of food delivery in Thailand has been climbing since 2014.  Furthermore, the food delivery market also proved itself to be one of the leading online business models as it accounted for more than a quarter of the total online businesses in Thailand, among other promising online businesses such as e-payment services and online entertainment. Since the food delivery service has become highly preferred on the consumers’ end, many local restaurants have taken the opportunity to join professional food delivery companies, making it more convenient for them to deliver their food. In 2019 alone, there were around 1,500 newly established food delivery businesses in Thailand.     

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Restaurant and food services industry in Thailand

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