Revenue of the country's catering industry grew from 5.48 billion yuan in 1978 when the country started its reform and opening-up to 3,966.4 billion yuan, chinanews.com reported Wednesday, citing data from China Cuisine Association.
Catering revenue accounted for 10.8 percent of the country's retail sales, which hit 36,626.2 billion yuan in 2017. In addition, this sector's contribution rate to entire consumption reached 11.5 percent.
There were only 120,000 outlets offering catering service in 1978 while there were 4.65 million catering companies nationwide boasting 8 million outlets by the end of 2017.
Only 1.04 million people worked in the catering industry in 1978, but in 2017, the number exceeded 30 million, according to data of the association.
A restaurant hired an average 6 persons in China in 2017, while the number in the United States was 14 and that in Japan 8.
In 1978, an average Chinese spent less than 6 yuan on catering, however, per capita consumption on catering amounted to 2,852 yuan in 2017, according to the association's calculation.
It took almost 28 years, from 1978 to 2006, for the country's catering revenue to surpass 1 trillion yuan and it took another 5 years, from 2006 to 2011, for the revenue to exceed 2 trillion yuan. However, it took only 3 years, from 2011 to 2014, for the revenue to hit 3 trillion yuan.
The association predicted catering revenue in the country will exceed 4 trillion yuan this year.