SEOUL, May 30 (Korea Bizwire) — The number of South Korean food service firms in foreign countries rose 2.7 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, but their profitability deteriorated sharply due mainly to stiffer competition, a survey showed Wednesday.
The survey released by the Korea Foodservice Industry Research Institute showed that 193 South Korean food service companies made inroads into 50 countries, including the United States and China, last year, compared with 188 a year earlier.
Still, the average annual sales of South Korean food service outlets in the foreign countries stood at 590 million won (US$545,000) in 2017, down from 3.7 billion won in 2016.
South Korean food service firms blamed fierce competition and worsened economic situations abroad for the decline in sales, according to the survey.
An industry official said South Korean food service firms should do more to make further inroads into foreign markets as the domestic market has long been saturated, but they need to develop long-term strategies and boost their competitiveness to tackle challenges going forward.