SA Foodservices – Rise of the Dark Kitchen

Following the severe contraction in the leisure sector in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we explore some trends that could impact the foodservices sector in the year ahead. The high growth of online ordering and third-party delivery services has resulted in restaurants’ profitability taking some strain. This has led to the rise of the Dark Kitchen concept. We analyse the profitability of dark kitchens and compare it to the traditional dine-in restaurants. We find the fast food and takeaways category showed the best improvement after the hard lockdown and we expect this trend to continue for the rest of 2021.