Restaurants and cafés Industry in Saudi Arabia
Connect with us


Saudi Arabia’s Restaurant Industry: Vast Investments, Ongoing Revival, and Exciting Initiatives



Restaurants and cafés in Saudi Arabia are more than simply luxuries that are nice to have; they are an integral aspect of the lives.

In the Kingdom, restaurants and cafés are more than simply luxuries that are nice to have; they are an integral aspect of the lives and cultures of both foreign and Saudi citizens. Furthermore, this industry is a massive employer of labour, creating tens of thousands of jobs locally with its earnings.

The food and beverage industry will benefit from this social and economic expansion. As long as the Kingdom keeps funding the Quality-of-Life Programme. It aims to expand opportunities in the areas of sports, culture, and entertainment as part of Vision 2030.

In Saudi Arabia, there are over 50,000 dining establishments and roughly 100 businesses. They supply pre-made food items like veggies, grains, meat, poultry, juices, etc. These businesses profit from the country’s high population and good average monthly income per person (above $2,000). In addition to the Gulf countries’ rich culinary traditions.


Significant Investments

The restaurant industry in the Kingdom has seen investments of 221 billion riyals (about 59 billion dollars). According to statistics from the Saudi Ministry of Investment. This year, growth of up to 8% could be seen in this sector.

When compared to other expenditure categories like food and drink, health, education, and services, Saudi Arabians spend the second most on restaurants and cafés.

Data from the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia for 2021 puts the country’s yearly spending on this industry at 55 billion riyals, or around 14.6 billion USD.

The Saudi Central Bank revealed the amount of consumer expenditure in the Kingdom in less than a week in November.

According to Central Bank data, Saudi Arabians made 107.8 transactions totaling 8.5 billion riyals ($2.2 billion) in a single week.

Consumers in the Kingdom spent over 1.2 billion riyals (about 320 million dollars) on food and beverages. Cafés and restaurants came in second with 1.2 billion riyals spent.


Accelerated Growth

These costs show how much money is regularly invested in the restaurant and café industry in the Kingdom. It translates into sizable earnings that help the local economy, which aims to diversify its revenue streams away from oil.

As per Walid bin Nasser, the Chairman of the Riyadh Chamber’s Restaurants Committee. He is also a member of the Saudi Restaurant Association’s Board of Directors. He made an earlier remark, that the restaurant industry consistently generates the largest yearly revenues within the tourist sector.

According to him, the tourism industry generates the highest annual revenues from restaurants, with 79 billion riyals (roughly 21 billion dollars).

Transportation comes in second with 58 billion riyals (15.4 billion dollars). It is followed by hotel revenues at 31 billion riyals (8 billion dollars), and entertainment and tourism agencies at 17 billion riyals (3.5 billion dollars) with 57 billion riyals ($15 billion).

The number of restaurants and cafés in the Kingdom is growing every year, with over 50,000 now operating.

A statement from the Saudi Government of Commerce stated that 7.322 business records for restaurant and café activities the government released just last year.

The Ministry of Commerce stated that restaurants accounted for 5.302 business registrations, while cafés (coffee shops) accounted for 2.020.

Riyadh, the capital, led the list of cities issuing records for restaurants and cafés. It is followed by Makkah and the Eastern Province.

According to a report released last year by the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat), the number of restaurants and cafés operating in the Kingdom will increase by 12.2% between 2020 and 2025.

In the first quarter of last year, the Saudi Authority reported that the added value of the Kingdom’s wholesale and retail trade, lodging, and food sectors was 65 billion Saudi riyals ($17 billion). An estimate of the sector’s yearly worth was 234.4 billion riyals ($62.5 billion) in 2021.

Monshaat noted that while this sector’s percentage of the non-oil sector’s contribution to GDP decreased to 7.8% in 2021 as a result of the preventive measures put in place to stop the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading, its contribution still exceeded the 10% threshold.

The Kingdom wants to increase the number of cafés and restaurants per million people to 1.032 and 3.010, respectively, depending on population size.

Data released in August 2021 by the Saudi National Centre for Industrial Information showed that investments have generated around 82,000 new employment in the food goods sector.  It totals over 87 billion riyals ($23.2 billion).


Foreign and Joint Investments

Particularly, the restaurant and café industry profited from the Kingdom’s incentives and support packages offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also benefited from the initiatives started by the Ministries of Trade, Agriculture, and Industry. This also qualified the country’s human resource pool to help establish a strong basis for technical development with superior performance.