BEIJING Feb 9 China's catering sector grew at
its slowest pace in more than two decades in 2013 as diners
avoided splashing out in luxury restaurants during an
anti-corruption campaign targeting official excess, according to
Catering in China grew nine percent last year, the weakest
growth in 21 years, the official Xinhua news agency reported
late on Saturday, citing the China Cuisine Association. It did
not give the growth pace for earlier years.
Restaurant earnings totalled 2.54 trillion yuan ($419
billion) in 2013. Among those stomaching the biggest hit were
high-end establishments, which reported annual revenue lower
than in 2012, Xinhua said.
China's slowing economy has also dealt a blow to the
catering industry, as cost-conscious diners go for cheaper spots
with healthy, local food over multi-nationals like McDonald's
Corp and Yum! Brands Inc which have also been
hit by food-safety scandals.
Companies dealing in pricey liquors, expensive cigarettes
and luxury hotels are among those hit by the Chinese
government's anti-corruption campaign.
The crackdown has been led by President Xi Jinping as he
looks to rejuvenate the Communist Party's image, marred by years
of scandals and open displays of ill-gotten wealth.