(ECNS) - Revenues in China's catering industry increased by 700 times from 5.48 billion yuan in 1978 to 3.96 trillion yuan (about $616 billion) in 2017, according to a report by China Cuisine Association (CCA).
At a meeting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, the association said revenue in China's catering industry accounted for 10.8 percent of total retail sales of consumer goods last year and contributed to 11.3 percent of consumer market growth.
Data from the association showed China had fewer than 120,000 restaurants in 1978, but by 2017 it had 4.654 million enterprises in the catering industry with more than 8 million restaurants, a rise of 39-fold in four decades. Among the restaurants, 95 percent are privately held or foreign-funded.
CCA reported that the number of people working in China’s catering industry also rose sharply in the period, from 1.04 million in 1978 to 30 million last year. China has the second-largest catering industry in the world, following only the United States.
Average per capital spending in catering reached 2,852 yuan in 2017, almost 500 times higher than 1978.
China’s catering industry has entered a period of stable growth after 40 years of reform and opening up. It took nearly 28 years for revenues to reach 1 trillion yuan in 2006, but only another five years to hit 2 trillion yuan, four years to reach 3 trillion yuan and three years to generate nearly 4 trillion yuan.
CCA statistics indicate that the catering industry enjoyed smooth progress from January to April this year while branding has become a key driver in business growth.