Food franchises in Korea up 24% in pandemic year of 2021 on high delivery demand
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According to data from the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday, there were 167,455 franchise restaurants in Korea at the end of December 2021, up 23.9 percent from a year ago. It is not only the highest figure since the FTC began compiling related data in 2013 but also the highest growth.
The number of entire franchises, which include those in service and wholesale and retail sectors, also soared by the largest 24 percent during the same period.
By category, the number of franchises that serve Korean food including Bonjuk, a leading Korean rice porridge franchise, was up 39.8 percent to 36,015 in 2021. The brand that had the most number of new stores was Damgguk with 394 stores, followed by Kim Joon-ho’s Great Galbi with 278 stores, and Jipbap Easy with 158 stores. They all offer meal kits, take-away service, and delivery.
There were 29,373 franchises that serve fried chicken, up 13.6 percent. BB.Q Chicken was at the top with 2,002 stores, followed by BHC Chicken with 1,770 stores.
The average sales per franchise, however, stood at 279 million won ($214,285), down 1.4 percent from the previous year. Sales at chicken franchises were down 2.2 percent, Korean food stores 6 percent, and pizza eateries 6.5 percent.
Budget coffee brands enjoyed growth.
FTC data showed that Ediya Coffee had the largest number of franchise stores in 2019 with 2,651 stores, followed by Twosome Place with 1,097, and Mega MGC Coffee at 798. Ediya Coffee still had the most number of stores in 2021, but it was followed by Mega MGC Coffee with 1,593 stores and Twosome Place with 1,330.
In the wholesale and retail category, the number of convenience store franchises increased 7 percent to 52,168, exceeding 50,000 for the first time. The figure shows that there was one store per 1,000 people based on the Korean population of 51.44 million last year. Average sales, however, fell 0.1 percent.
By brand, CU topped with 15,669 stores, followed by GS25 with 15,402, 7-Eleven with 10,900 and Emart 24 with 5,756. GS25 had the highest average sales at 620.5 million won, followed by CU at 594 million won.
In the service category, transportation including taxi franchises saw the biggest rise in the number of franchises. Kakao T Blue had 16,312 franchises, followed by UT with 5,171.
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