Boom in Italian cuisine: Record numbers in 2023

Made in Italy cuisine is at the top, in Europe and in the world. The numbers for 2023 speak clearly: 240 billion euros in turnover globally and 41 billion euros in the Old Continent (Foodservice market monitor report by Deloitte). It's getting better and better, year after year and there are segments of the market that still have ample room for development, that of chains and street food. The forecasts, therefore, are for further growth for catering which, however, must change, updating itself to new post-pandemic habits.

They look at the full service restaurant (i.e. the traditional restaurant with table service) in Europe, the increase in Italy was almost 10% in 2023. At a global level, that 240 billion euro turnover, compared to 228 billion of 2022, mean that Italian cuisine represents 19% of the full service restaurant market which globally has reached over 2,700 billion euros. It is an increase of 5.4% and above all Italy has thus surpassed the pre-Covid values, when there were 236 billion. There are ten countries that manage 77% of the sector. China and the United States, the other two giants, are worth 152 billion euros. The greatest presence of Italian restaurants in the world is concentrated in the United States (35%), Germany and Brazil (23% in both cases).

The growth of around 10% per year of the chains, which now account for a third of the global foodservice market, certainly contributes to the boom in the sector. The increase in the presence of chains occurs above all in the Asia-Pacific areas (+14.7%) and in Europe (+12.2%). And here Italy plays differently. The chains in our country do not break through. They are growing, it's true, but they are only 10%, compared to 35% in the rest of the world. And if everywhere chain means in six cases out of ten quick service restaurants, here it is five out of ten chains. It is therefore here that ample margins for development are still expected in our country.

And the future? The estimate is certainly growth. Foodservice should reach 3,370 billion euros worldwide by 2028. And the driving force, in addition to chains, will be Street Food, for which an annual increase of 5.5% is expected.

But the protagonist, more and more, of the restaurant boom will be the new behavior of the customer. With the post-pandemic and the development of smartworking and short weeks there are new requests, which the sector is riding and must take into consideration to continue growing. First of all, today we increasingly want entertainment, that is, the offer of entertainment in restaurants with a full calendar of events and entertainment in addition to cuisine.And then snacking emerged forcefully, the tendency of customers to prefer small meals during the day instead of more traditional ones. This pushes restaurateurs towards a review of working hours, therefore an organizational change. In short, a market that is doing well and growing, but which is also changing.