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Location data used to show boom of fast food sector across Australia
Fri, 8th Mar 2024

GapMaps, a location intelligence firm, has unveiled its 2023 Fast Food and Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Retail Network Report, outlining store openings and closures for 31 brands at more than 7,000 locations throughout Australia. The report underscores robust growth, with the addition of 226 new stores within the sector in 2023.

Brands such as KFC, Sushi Hub, Guzman Y Gomez, and Zambrero have logged the highest number of net new store openings. The 31 brands monitored accounted for 7,038 locations, out of which 398 store openings, with 23 brands registered positive net store growth in 2023. The eight fastest-expanding brands out of these secured 184 net new locations, including significant expansions by major chains including KFC, Hungry Jack’s, Pizza Hut, Sushi Hub, Zambrero, Guzman Y Gomez, and Grill’d.

Scott Johnson, Senior Analyst at GapMaps, attributed the sector's growth to specific factors, saying, “Record population growth, cost of living pressures and declining retail sales defined 2023 in what has been an uncertain year. But despite uncertainties, Australians continued to dine out and takeaway, with total food and beverage sales increasing by more than 10%, or 4.2% after removing inflation.”

Among the main QSR brands, KFC experienced the most substantial growth, adding 35 net new stores to increase its total network to 785 nationwide. Meanwhile, Subway witnessed a net change of +5 stores, a growth rate mirrored by McDonald's. Hungry Jack’s recorded a net change of +17 new stores, Pizza Hut saw a net growth of +19 with 24 new openings, and Crust added five new stores.

In addition, Sushi Hub, Guzman Y Gomez, Zambrero, and Grill'd all demonstrated strong net new store growth, adding 34, 26, 25, and 16 stores, respectively. Noodle Box and Fishbowl also marked double-digit net new store growth, with 12 and 10, respectively. Evidence of this new store growth was scattered across the country, with growing areas continuing to offer potential for major brands. As a result, the AUD 7.6 billion food delivery sector's capacity to efficiently service each store network remains a factor in store expansion and optimisation.

Cities also saw significant growth, with Sydney recording 45 net new store openings, closely followed by Melbourne with 44, Perth (36), Brisbane (12), and Adelaide (nine). Johnson said, “Entering 2024, the majority of Australians now have a significantly greater choice of Quick Service Restaurants,” adding, “While over 75% of all Australians have lived within 3km of a Subway and McDonald’s for a number of years, now close to 52% of all Australians can access 10 or more QSR brands within 3km of home.”

GapMaps, in addition to providing insights on where brands are clustering and their observable expansion and optimisation strategies, partnered with CommBank IQ to provide insight on real spending habits of consumers at a local level, including food delivery spending. This in-depth analysis of supply and demand within the sector is allowing clients to better comprehend, optimise and expand their store networks.