The ethnic restaurants and takeaways market remains largely fragmented, although the continued expansion of some ethnic restaurant chains should begin to change this.

Operators face ongoing pressure from non-specialists bringing ethnic dishes to their menus. Specialist operators are, however, seeing investment via crowdfunding and private equity, which should bolster the funds they have available for marketing and store expansion. This is important in the face of rising real incomes which could see some diners switch to competing foodservice sectors.

Authenticity remains a key driver for ethnic restaurant/takeaway users. As such, demonstrating expertise in a cuisine and offering customisation offer key ways to differentiate. However, the importance of authenticity represents a real challenge to ethnic restaurant chains against independent operators.

Covered in this report

This report covers both takeaway/home delivery food and sit-down meals from specialist ethnic restaurants.

This report includes ethnic restaurants and takeaways specialising in any cuisines outside Europe, Russia, Australasia and North America.

The following definitions apply to the various cuisines referred to in this report:

  • Chinese: Peking, Cantonese and other Chinese variations;

  • Tex-Mex: a blend of Mexican and Texan food culture (eg fajitas);

  • Caribbean includes cuisine from Jamaica as well as other Caribbean islands;

  • North African, including, for example, Moroccan and Algerian cuisine;

  • Other African food includes cuisine from all other African countries, such as Nigerian or Ghanaian;

  • Middle Eastern food refers to all food from countries in the Middle Eastern region, such as the Emirates, Israel, Lebanon and Turkey;

  • South American cuisine includes cuisine from all countries on the continent, such as Brazil.

Excluded from this report are:

  • all ethnic ready meals and food products bought through retail channels, eg supermarkets

  • ethnic meals bought in non-specialist ethnic restaurants, eg pubs, hotels, sandwich shops etc

  • all European and North American foods, with the exception of Tex-Mex.

Further research on the home delivery and takeaway sectors can be found in Mintel’s Attitudes to Home Delivery and Takeaway Food – UK, March 2016 report.

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