In this market, large American companies, such as McDonald's, Burger King, or KFC, and French actors such as the Le DUFF Group – the owner of such brands as Del Arte or Brioche Dorée - are dominant, with high sales revenues. With the return in force of Burger King in France, which bought the French brand Quick, a battle between leading players is raging, with McDonald's still the winner in France, both in terms of revenue and coverage, with 1,530 open establishments in 2020.
While the fast food industry performed well in France in recent years, 2020 marked a break. Indeed, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a disastrous impact on the restaurant industry, as many establishments had to close their doors to the public for months on end. Although the fast food industry, supported by delivery services, fared much better than the traditional restaurant industry, it still experienced a decline in frequentation and spending in 2020 compared to the previous year.
While more than half of the French enjoy eating in fast food restaurants, these establishments attract more parents with young children and young people since an overwhelming majority of 18-24-year-olds frequented fast food establishments, compared to 50 percent of those aged over 50.
Even in a fast food restaurant, the French attach importance to the quality of their meal, since for more than 90 percent of them, this type of restaurant must offer fresh products from France. In fact, the fast food industry rapidly experienced an increasing demand for quality, organic and local food in the last few years. This is a new challenge for leading fast food brands.