The number of stores is less than 8 million, and the catering market will be released in 2024.

On the evening of March 4th, Haidilao announced that it would implement the franchise mode of Haidilao restaurant and further promote the expansion of restaurant network with diversified business mode. A stone stirs up a thousand waves. Although it can be predicted that the threshold for Haidilao to join is not low, it still can’t resist people’s enthusiasm for consulting and discussing joining.

According to Chenzhi Big Data, as of 2023Q4, about 34% of China’s catering stores are chain brand stores. In the past five years, the proportion of chain stores above 10,000 stores has increased year by year, and the market presents the Matthew effect that the stronger. As catering enterprises pay more and more attention to the business model of joining, the relationship between catering enterprises and franchisees is not to manage franchisees, but to serve franchisees.

From March 7th to 9th, the 14th Shanghai International Catering Exhibition organized by CFA Catering Alliance will be held in E1-E2 of Shanghai New International Expo Center. "CFA Dining Alliance" focuses on the eager eyes of many head brands, well-known brands, popular brands and catering investors in various catering tracks, and has become the preferred interactive platform for brand release, investment promotion, channel agency and cooperation and joint venture among major exhibitors.

On March 7th, Ge Jianhui, founder of Chenzhi Big Data, shared the theme of "2024 China Catering Annual Trend Release" at the conference. Let’s take stock of the catering big data trends in 2024..


2024 catering big data basic disk

1. The number of stores in China is less than eight million.

In the first half of 2023, the number of restaurants in China exceeded 8.6 million, but the good times did not last long. The "retaliatory opening of stores" was followed by the "closing tide". By 2023Q4, the number of restaurants in China was about 7.703 million. Under the background of digital transformation, improving the efficiency of a single store has become the common goal of the catering industry. The pace of crazy expansion of stores is limited, and high-quality development has become a trend. In the next few years, the number of catering stores nationwide will fluctuate around 8 million.

2. The rate of opening/closing stores is over 30%.

In 2023, the epidemic situation was fully liberalized, and the catering market regained its vitality and welcomed the opening tide again. However, due to the intensification of involution, the market elimination rate increased and the internal reshuffle of the catering market intensified. By 2023Q4, the nationwide opening rate was 30.4% and the closing rate was 34.5%.

3. The sinking market has gradually become the main battlefield of increment.

In 2023, the scale of catering stores in the first-and second-tier markets showed a large negative growth, while the number of stores in the sinking market increased by 1%. The first-and second-tier catering markets became saturated and the competition became increasingly fierce.

The three-year epidemic has changed consumption habits, and consumers prefer to spend near home. Shopping centers have been severely affected, and the consumption fever has shifted to community stores. Community brands such as Nanchengxiang and Ziguangyuan have accelerated their expansion, and many brands such as Haidilao and Xiaolongkan have rushed to the beach for community catering, sinking the layout.

4. Regional snacks go to the whole country

By the end of 2023Q4, the number of Chinese fast food stores accounted for 46.1%, far ahead of other categories.

In Chinese fast food, the number of noodle soup and porridge stores has dropped by more than 20% in the past year, and local snacks has sprung up suddenly, with a growth rate of 13%. In recent years, local snacks has been out of the circle, snail powder has been out of the circle, and Hunan rice noodles and Xinjiang fried rice noodles have emerged. At present, regional snacks are almost single-item development strategies.


Trend of catering consumption in 2024

1. The flavor of green pepper is popular in many categories, and innovative dishes emerge one after another.

As a spicy addictive flavor, green pepper is blended into dishes to stimulate consumers’ taste buds and meet consumers’ hearty dining needs. In the past six months, the flavor of green pepper has become popular in various catering categories, and the popularity of western fast food category has increased by over 75%, while that of Chinese restaurants and hot pots has exceeded 40%.

2, sweet and sour flavor is popular with high fever, and fresh fruit collides with sweet and sour taste to enrich the tongue tip experience.

In the past six months, the recommended value of consumers for sweet and sour flavor increased by 12.6%, among which the heat of sweet and sour flavor of fresh fruit increased most obviously. The sweet and sour flavor of litchi, hawthorn, strawberry, pineapple and other fresh fruits constantly collided with the original flavor of meat, enriching the taste level of dishes and frequently pushing dishes.

3. Chili ingredients trigger the iteration of spicy dishes

Starting with ingredients, it is not uncommon to innovate dishes. Some regional brands rely on the advantages of origin ingredients to create differences in dishes by highlighting the types of pepper ingredients.

In the past six months, the heat of pepper seasoning ingredients such as yellow pepper, colored pepper and white pepper has soared. The heat value of yellow pepper has increased by over 80%, the heat value of colored pepper has increased by over 60%, and the heat value of white pepper and wild pepper has also increased greatly. The Chinese catering market may trigger a new round of competition in the application of pepper varieties.

4, beef ingredients will become Chinese high-frequency meat with super high quality and price ratio.

In the past six months, the overall push value of beef has increased by more than 7%, which is relatively obvious compared with other mainstream ingredients such as pigs, chickens and sheep.

Judging from the breakdown of beef ingredients, the heat of beef balls increased the most, exceeding 109%, followed by beef tendon, and the heat rose by over 50%. Beef bones and steaks were also promoted, and beef, as a "king of value", will become a "high frequency" meat for Chinese people.


In 2023 alone, Ruixing and KFC China were born. With the accelerating process of restaurant chain in China, it is expected that 1-2 brands will be born every year in the future. The world’s leading chain catering brands, without exception, rely on the franchise model to achieve leap-forward growth. In the long run, open joining is also the only way for domestic catering enterprises to grow, and they are inseparable from the multi-dimensional long-term construction and accumulation of supply chain, product research and development, personnel management and store operation. 2024 will also become a key year for catering enterprises to compete for comprehensive strength.