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The Latin America and Caribbean quick service restaurants market size was valued at USD 71.14 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 78.56 billion in 2023 to USD 151.27 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.81% during the forecast period.
A Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) is a restaurant that offers food items that require minimal preparation time and are delivered via quick service. Typically, quick service restaurants offer quick dishes on a menu as they can be cooked in less time with as little variation as possible. These restaurants are famous for having standardized, modular, and efficient processes that help them reduce delivery time and fulfill orders while maintaining the quality customers expect. Preparation methods and the use of technology are the mainstays of quick service restaurants. Major factors supporting the growth of this market are the localization of food menus and inclusion of products prepared by market players using local culinary practices. In addition, as consumers travel more often, a new trend of trying popular Latin American cuisines, such as Colombian, Mexican, Bolivian, Ecuadorian, Chilean, Peruvian, and Paraguayan is emerging due to the increasing curiosity of consumers about international foods and flavors.
For instance, in March 2022, Wendy’s, a well-known chain of quick service restaurants, announced its expansion plan in Mexico. The plan involved the company making a significant investment in digitizing its business in the country. In addition, it plans to invest in improving its delivery system in the country.
COVID-19 Pandemic Declined Sales of Quick-Service Restaurants, Restricted Market Growth
In Latin America and the Caribbean, fast food consumption was stopped due to stringent restrictions on dining out and the closure of fast food restaurants. The closure of bars and restaurants was one of the many steps taken by the governments to avoid spreading the disease. A few of the major scenarios that were created by the pandemic in the region were lack of financial liquidity, unavailability of labor, and rising price of agricultural inputs. Thus, this factor created a limited supply of raw materials to quick service restaurants. Furthermore, the pandemic disrupted the daily operations of many Latin American and Caribbean countries. The closing of international borders, international travel, and declining food production greatly impacted the food service and related industries.
Furthermore, during the pandemic, consumer preferences shifted toward value and at-home dining. Hence, some cuisines/dishes in the food menu had to be repriced to remain competitive in the market. The off-premise food consumption and online food delivery increased during COVID-19 and continued to rise as the work from home culture continued for a longer time in some parts of the region. Hence, online food delivery and packaging services played a significant role in providing an opportunity for quick-service restaurants to grow. Thus, major market players have significantly invested in developing better online delivery services.
For instance, in October 2021, Domino’s Pizza announced its integration and a significant investment in Tooken, an order management tool, to provide better service to its consumers in Brazil.
Rising Vegan Food Consumption to Support Market Growth
Diets based on vegetables and fruits positively impact consumer health. Vegan diet is plant-based and has risen in popularity over the past few years. Health is the topmost reason for people to choose a vegan diet. Even though this diet was only limited to the vegetarian population in earlier days, it is now popular among veg and non-veg consumers. The trend of veganism is also in the fast food sector as customers demand vegan alternatives for burgers, sandwiches, and breads.
Vegans don't eat animal-derived products, such as dairy products, eggs, or other foods. The term ‘flex’ is mostly used to describe people who still consume dairy and meat products and want to reduce their consumption. The vegan trend has been growing rapidly in the Latin American region owing to the growing need of consumers to consume quality food. For instance, the data from the global vegan organization Veganuary, which has been running in Latin America since 2020, has reported that around 5%, 7%, and 8% of consumers from Chile, Argentina, and Mexico respectively have adopted veganism. Furthermore, as per Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira, a non-profit organization that promotes veganism and sustainability, around 3,523 food service establishments, such as restaurants, quick service restaurants, or others in Brazil offer at least one vegan product on the menu.
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Rapid Growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Drive Regional Market Growth
Latin America is known for its culture, traditions, and diversity of food. Latin America and the Caribbean have become significant emerging markets in recent years. For instance, as per the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, Latin America registered 14.56% in cumulative gross returns compared to 3.86% in the rest of the emerging markets from May 2020 to May 2023.
Despite the agricultural and service sectors being the region's primary revenue-generating industry segments, advanced technologies are being developed by many companies in the quick-service restaurant market to run their business operations smoothly.
For instance, in March 2021, El Pollo Loco, one of the top QSR chains in Latin America, announced that it had implemented AI to personalize its rewards system to enhance consumer spending and meet their demands across different geographies.
Mexico and Brazil are quite competitive markets owing to the rising investments by venture capitalists in these countries to launch new startups in food technology, online delivery, and other areas. Thus, owing to the large-scale implementation of advanced technologies and increasing investments resulting in high competition, the QSR market is expected to grow at a lucrative rate.
Higher Share of Urban Population and Rising GDP Per Capita to Drive Market Growth
The fast growth in the GDP per capita of countries in Latin America is mainly due to the region's increasing employment rate and rapid urbanization. An increase in employment boosts people’s disposable incomes. The growth in the disposable income of individuals fuels the spending on out-of-home food, which will further drive the growth of franchising restaurants in the region. For instance, as per the Government of Brazil, the country recorded a growth of 4% in disposable income in the first quarter of 2022. Thus, the higher percentage of the urban population and rapid growth in the per capita GDP are significant factors driving the QSR market. This is due to the higher penetration of these restaurants found in regions that have a significant share of the population living in urban areas. Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina have a higher share of the population living in urban areas, followed by Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and others.
Rising Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity to Restraint Regional Market Growth
In recent years, several Latin American and Caribbean countries have witnessed considerable growth in obesity and diabetes cases, specifically type-2 diabetes. This is owing to the rising international trade, which has resulted in an easier access to cheaper food products and growth in the consumption of junk food in the region. The changing dietary patterns and insufficient physical activity have increased the prevalence of obesity and related diseases in the region. For instance, as per the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the diseases associated with obesity, such as type-2 diabetes and heart disease are significant causes of illness and death in the region. Thus, governments in this region have joined the international community in acknowledging the need to address these ailments, as seen through the recent introduction of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) prevention programs. Thus, the rising awareness of the ill effects of consuming junk food will restrain the growth of the QSR industry in this region.
Dine-Ins to Remain Dominant Due to the Popularity among Consumers to Consume Fresh Food in Restaurant
On the basis of service type, the market is divided into dine-in, takeaway, and delivery. Of all the segments, the dine–in segment holds the largest market share. The dine-in segment includes the revenues generated by a restaurant through orders placed by consumers inside the restaurants for on-premise consumption. Takeaway services were also popular when the online food delivery concept did not pick up pace in the market. However, during the last decade, the growth of online food delivery platforms has been exponential with the growing penetration of smartphones, changing consumer lifestyles, ease of ordering food, and lucrative offers launched by operators to lure customers. The takeaway segment’s market size includes revenues generated through the orders placed by consumers to take away food with them through self-pick-up service. Many times, consumers try to pick up orders via drive-through restaurant counters; these instances are covered under the takeaway segment.
The delivery segment is expected to record the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This segment includes orders placed for quick service restaurants through third-party online food delivery applications, such as Uber Eats, Doordash, Deliveroo, Zomato, and Swiggy. The segment also includes the orders customers place through in-house apps of the leading restaurants, such as Domino’s, McDelivery, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell’s apps and websites.
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Geographically, the market is studied across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Jamaica, México, Nassau, Panamá, Perú, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago.
Latin America and the Caribbean’s agriculture sector accounts for a significant share of the region's GDP. The increasing FDIs, rapid growth in the per capita income owing to rising urbanization, increasing technological advancements, and adoption of digitalization trends by key food service providers have been driving the market’s growth in the region. Increasing penetration of online food delivery platforms is the latest trend contributing to the market growth. The food service industry is one of the most exciting industries, which has seen extraordinary growth over the last few years and continues to expand rapidly. The changing lifestyle of consumers significantly impacts their food choices, causing a major shift in their spending.
Brazil holds the largest share in the Latin American and Caribbean market. According to the USDA, Brazil's fast food industry has seen a significant increase in quick service restaurants over the last few years, with major restaurant chains, such as McDonald's, Subway, and others expanding their presence in the country. Increase in the number of outlets, high convenience, affordability, and changing consumer demands are the major features anticipated to drive the market growth in Brazil. Considering the rising consumer preference for online food ordering, market players are focusing on taking advantage of the digitalization of the food service sector. In April 2023, Burger King Brazil partnered with Bringg, a delivery management platform provider, to help manage last-mile operations and strengthen regional delivery channels. Bringg's delivery management platform will be able to provide more delivery options to Burger King branches across the nation, while increasing efficiency and reducing last-mile costs.
Mexico is also one of the leading countries in quick-service restaurants. The country was the world's 16th largest economy in 2021. Mexico's food & beverage industry contributed USD 35.1 billion to the country's GDP in 2020. The growth rate of the QSR segment shows that this is the country's most important type of restaurant. The need for convenient, affordable food options and trend-based product innovations to attract the young generation, who are constantly on the go, has driven the Latin America & Caribbean quick service restaurants market share in the country.
Chile is also home to many international and domestic restaurants, both fast and full-service. The use of e-commerce platforms, such as Uber Eats, Rappi, and PedidosYa for food has increased significantly. The revenue of these platforms increased from 20% in 2019 to 40% in 2020. In 2020, the growth of e-commerce was mainly attributed to the COVID-19-related restaurant seating restrictions. However, in 2021, dine-in food services captured 67% of Chile's QSR market. Therefore, an increase in the number of fast food chains in these countries will accelerate the growth of the QSR market in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Key Players to Focus on Expanding Their Business in New Countries to Stay Competitive
The quick-service restaurant market comprises local as well as international players, and the number of local players exceeds that of international players. Local companies continuously try to expand their business footprint in new countries. The prominent companies in the industry, such as Domino’s, Starbucks Incorporated, Subway LLC, and Burger King Corp are continuously innovating their products and increasing their position in this market. For instance, in June 2019, Pizza Hut launched two new Mexican Fiesta menu items. The new products were Fiesta Mexican Pizza and Mexican Corn Fries with Mexican Sauce. The fast food company allocated USD 618,000 for advertising and promotion of these products. The new launch helped the company to increase its product portfolio and presence in the market and accelerate the Latin America & Caribbean quick service restaurants market growth.
The market research report provides a detailed market analysis and focuses on key aspects, such as leading companies, market segments, overview, regional analysis, and service types. Also, it offers insights into the QSR market's key trends and leading industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report includes several factors that have contributed to the market’s growth in recent years.
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CAGR of 9.81%from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Service Type
Latin America & Caribbean (Service Type and Country)
Fortune Business Insights says that the market size was valued at USD 71.14 billion in 2022.
The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 9.81% over the forecast period of 2023-2030.
The dine-in segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Rapid growth in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is driving market growth.
McDonald’s Corporation, Domino’s Pizza, Inc., and Yum Brands are the leading companies in the Latin America and Carribean quick-service restaurants market.
Brazil dominated the market in terms of sales in 2022.
The rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes and obesity in the region will restrain market growth.
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