China's catering sector upbeat on business prospects: survey

Customers tuck into hot pot delicacies at a Haidilao shop in Beijing. (Photo provided to China Daily)

BEIJING - Chinese businesspeople in the catering sector are generally optimistic about their growth prospects despite heated market competition, an industrial survey showed.

Over half of about 16,000 respondents said they have business expansion plans, while less than 20 percent showed little confidence for future growth, according to a report by Meituan Research Institute, an organization with online food delivery and ticketing services platform Meituan Dianping.

About 77 percent of the surveyed felt that the market competition is heated due to rising costs and changing consumption preferences of young generations.

The survey showed that many catering market players are using online services to expand their business networks.

China is now the world's second largest catering market after the United States, with total revenue growing 9.5 percent to top 4.2 trillion yuan ($610.3 billion) last year.