Issue 03/12

Foodservice Market Germany and the London Olympics

The current issue of FoodService Europe & Middle East is on its way to readers in over 50 countries of the world. The top subjects covered include our exclusive sales ranking of Germany’s 100 biggest foodservice players 2011 and a preview of the UK foodservice sector’s preparations for the Olympics.


For the top 100 restaurant chains/companies in Germany, 2011 was an outstanding year despite the unending crisis, with a sales increase of 5.1% (compared to 2.3% in 2010 and 1.1% in 2009). The top 100 rang up the third-biggest increase in sales since the turn of the century and cleared the 11 bn hurdle in terms of net sales for the first time. Twelve months between euphoria and Euro-angst during which the Germans proved to be amazingly crisis-resistant.


Games with a food vision: The UK foodservice gets prepared for delivering the largest peace-time catering operation ever undertaken in Britain. Over the 17 days of the Olympics and 12 days of the Paralympics, an estimated 14 m meals will be served within the Olympics venues alone. In our report, we take a look at the major foodservice players involved and the challenges they have to cope with. In addition: 20 recommendations of London restaurants to visit, as well as a summary of Lord Sebastian Coe’s speech at last autumn’s European Foodservice Summit. The Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games explained how London managed to win the world-wide competition to host the Games.


In part II of our pan-European survey on ‘better burger’ concepts, we focus on the British, French, German and Russian markets. While it is true that gourmet-burger formulas from the fast-casual segment are still a niche phenomenon, future prospects are promising, given that more and more consumers are prepared to pay a little more for freshness, creative recipes and quality ingredients, good service and a pleasant atmosphere.


With this issue’s interview we turn to Northern Europe, namely Norway. Since 2010, Karen Kvalevag is CEO of Umoe Restaurant Group, the country’s largest foodservice business with a turnover of NOK2.6 bn (close to €350 m) – notable for its diversity. As well as owning a market-leading pizza chain and operating branches of global brands Burger King and TGI Friday’s, it has evolved nearly 40 of its own mini-chains and concepts. Kvalevag talks about the challenges of multi-brand management in a logistically complex country.


For Burger King, Norway is definitely a minor market. In terms of sales and outlets, the US is still by far the brand’s strongest bastion, followed by Germany, Australia and the UK. In its home market, the world’s second largest burger chain had to defend its market share against fast-casual chains offering fast service and higher quality items. In our report, we investigate Burger King’s strategy to fight back, started earlier this year, and the brand’s international prospects.


Still considered as once-in-a-lifetime event, weddings are highly emotional in nature. However, hosting weddings is also a lucrative business, particularly for the Middle Eastern hotel industry. With up to 1,000 or more guests at a wedding party, this segment accounts for one of the most important revenue streams in the hospitality industry in the region. In our Middle East section, five professionals from leading hotels across the Middle East report on trends and challenges in the wedding business.


Crossing the Bosphorus, we have a break at Istanbul’s The House Café. Founded in 2002, this charming all-day casual-dining chain with ambitions to grow internationally now boasts 13 outlets, most of them in Istanbul – plus three boutique hotels. Remarkable for its creative design approach as well as for its fusion food philosophy, The House Café illustrates how the offerings and appearance of Ottoman culture can successfully acquire a cosmopolitan character.


Also in this issue: consumer research from the Netherlands – seniors and singles as new target groups for foodservice operators. Far-eastern success: German brewery Paulaner launched its first Bräuhouse outside Munich twenty years ago in Beijing, followed by 18 international outlets, most of them in China.


Last but not least, a portrait of Sweden’s packaging and table-top solutions specialist Duni, as well as concepts to watch from Portugal, Spain, Austria and Russia.