Visits to Restaurant Chains Dominate Russian Foodservice Market, Reports NPD

Loyalty from younger consumers helps drive chain traffic growth

Moscow, 16 July 2014 - Visits to major restaurant chains increased by 9 percent in year ending March 2014 compared to a 4 percent increase in independent restaurant traffic in the same period, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The growth in restaurant chain visits is driven by young consumers, mainly 18–24 year-olds, who are loyal to the chains because of the consistency in food quality and service, finds NPD’s CREST® foodservice market research.

Chains now represent over 65 percent of all commercial foodservice visits in Russia, and dominate the quick service/fast food and coffee shop segments, according to NPD’s CREST service, which tracks on a daily basis how consumers use restaurants and other foodservice outlets in Russia. Chains represent 85 percent of fast food visits and 70 percent of coffee shop traffic. In the full service segment, however, independents hold greater traffic share than chains.

“Small chain and independent restaurants can learn a lesson from the chains in terms of developing consumer loyalty,” says Maria Bertoch, Business Development Russia Foodservice. “Chain operators keep customers coming back by offering high quality service and an enjoyable experience on a continual basis. In addition, chains incent customer revisits by implementing loyalty programs.”

A loyal customer base among young Russians is a key factor in foodservice chain growth. NPD reports that young adults in Russia continue to visit chain restaurants because they know that the food quality will be the same every time they visit. They also feel that the service is better at chain restaurants and they are treated like a valuable customer. In addition, young Russians are open to global foodservice trends and are showing growing interest in American, but also Asian and less-familiar ethnic cuisines.

“With the world today smaller than ever, restaurant customers seek universal food such as burgers, French fries, pizza, sushi, without forgetting home-made classics from the Russian cuisine,” says Bertoch. “It will benefit all restaurant operators to be aware of which cuisines are popular with consumers as well as understand and deliver what consumers want and need when visiting restaurants.”

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