Italy’s restaurant industry is worth 71 billion
Italy’s restaurant industry continues to grow in terms of numbers. Meals eaten outside the home are taking on even greater importance, worth 35% in terms of the food consumed by families in 2016 (up 1.1% on 2015). However, food consumed at home saw a decrease of 0.3% in 2016, decreasing by a staggering 12% between 2007 and 2015, accounting for a decrease of 18.4 billion euros.
Specifically, food consumed in the home saw its value drop from 150 billion euros in 2007 to about 132 billion in 2016, while the numbers for dining out grew from 70.7 billion euros to 71.1 billion. These numbers come from the latest report on the industry from Fipe’s — Federazione italiana pubblici esercizi (Italian Federation of Public Concerns) — research center.
In 2016, 39 million people consumed at least one meal outside the home and 13 million did it at least four or five times per week. They were considered heavy consumers. Nine million people ate out two or three times a week (average consumers) and 17 million ate out two or three times per month (low consumers).
The value-add of restaurant services in Italy is estimated to be about 36 billion euros. The situation in our country is going against the trend in the rest of Europe where food consumption outside the home saw a significant decline overall.
“The data from 2016 to come out of the report confirm a comeback in terms of food consumption outside the home and the central role work plays in the industry, as evidenced by the great increase in employment,” says Lino Enrico Stoppani, president of Fipe.
Despite recent controversies, Stoppani highlights the importance of the use of meal vouchers in restaurants, characterized by seasonality and volatile spikes in activity. But the situation is not all positive. In 2016, Stoppani continues, “the business mortality rate was high, and quality standards were lowered, especially due to an excess of what was offered in the industry, as seen by the great number of take-away restaurants, which have nothing to do with the food traditions of our cities, and that often put the identity and appeal of our historic city centers at risk.”
RISK FACTOR: ENTREPRENEURIAL WEAKNESS
In 2015, more than 16,000 businesses were launched while more than 27,000 closed. Thus, there was a negative balance of 11,000 businesses. In the first nine months of 2016, 12,199 businesses were launched while 19,509 closed, making for a negative balance of 7,310 businesses.
“The first problem is a high level of turnover in businesses,” explains
Luciano Sbraga, director of Fipe’s research center, to MAG. “In fact, the relationship between openings and closings is negative.”
The second “alarm bell” for the restaurant industry is that “there are a great deal of restaurant closings because, on average, after five years, only 52% of businesses is still standing.”
In other words, according to Sbraga, there’s “entrepreneurial weakness” that is often the result of “a lack of preparedness in starting a business.”
All of this, along with stiff competition, is reflected in the overall productivity of the system, from bars to restaurants.