Australia’s fast food sector experiencing strong growth

fast food, court

The latest edition of the annual Fast Food & Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Retail Network Report by GapMaps indicates a buoyant fast food sector in Australia based on the number of store openings that it tracked.

Monitoring 29 brands in 1861 locations, the report reveals that 336 new stores opened and 162 closed, a net change of 174 additional stores over the 12-month period that ended in June. The final April quarter was very active with 114 stores opened and 55 closed, a net change of 59 additional stores, or 34 per cent of the annual total.

In the 12-month period, Sushi Hub and Guzman Y Gomez reported a net increase of 21 stores each, the largest increase of all brands tracked.

Guzman Y Gomez had the biggest increase in the final quarter with 10 net new stores, followed by Zambrero (+7), Sushi Hub and Noodle Box (+6 each).

There was also strong growth in burger brands with a network size of around 50, with Betty’s Burgers, Carl’s Jr and Patty Smith’s adding 10, nine and six stores respectively to their network total. Other brands to report double-digit growth in net new stores over the full year included KFC (16), Noodle Box (14) and Grill’d (13).

Scott Johnson, Senior Analyst, GapMaps, said that the report is a clear indication that fast food and QSR brands are continuing to adjust their physical footprints.

“There is still a lot of movement across all fast food and QSR sectors as brands adjust their store portfolios in what is still a changing landscape and economic environment,” Johnson said. “Despite 336 store openings in the 12-month period, the 162 closures show that finding optimum locations is still a priority for all brands. That said, 174 new net stores is very positive and illustrates strong growth and confidence across the sector.”

Across the 12-month period, only three brands contracted their store numbers, which included Nando’s (-5) and Red Rooster and Sushi Sushi (-1 each). Additionally, four brands reported no change – Hungry Jacks, Rosie’s Chicken, Chicken Treat and Pizza Capers.

“Despite a challenging economic environment, the April quarter showed strong growth with 59 net new stores added,” Johnson added.“This is a good indicator that the fast food and QSR sector is growing, and with access to the right datasets, cannibilisation of existing stores can be avoided.”