Food delivery market grows as economy threatens restaurants

Image courtesy of Peak Recruit

The online food delivery market in Thailand is experiencing growth but the challenging economy might force closures of between 50,000 and 100,000 small restaurants.

Thailand has approximately 700,000 restaurants, including mobile street vendors, with the total business valued at 800 billion baht. Online food delivery services contribute 15% to this total.

Chief Executive of Line Man Wongnai, Yod Chinsupakul, reports a 10% growth for online food delivery in the past five months, expecting a continuation of the upward trend for the rest of the year.

Chinsupakul explains that food remains a necessity and is less impacted by economic challenges. However, he noted that about 50% of food sellers typically close their business within the first year, and another 20 to 30% shut down later.

On the Line Man Wongnai platform, 50,000 to 100,000 restaurants usually close per year, but this year the number might be higher, Chinsupakul emphasises that most of these are small restaurants. The online food delivery market in Thailand is valued at 100 billion baht.

The chief executive estimates only half of the restaurants registered on the platform have fully embraced digital technology.

Business solutions

The company also sees growth in business-to-business (B2B) solutions, particularly in payment, merchant management, and point-of-sale solutions, designed to serve restaurants.

To expand its B2B solutions, Line Man Wongnai signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Business Development Department to support food businesses by equipping operators with technology and helping them move online.

Chinsupakul mentioned that successful food merchants on the Line Man Wongnai platform have managed to expand to over 20 branches, utilising the company’s point-of-sale system and electronic menu to support their operations.

Deputy Commerce Minister Napintorn Srisunpang stated that Thailand has over 300,000 food operators, 90% of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Under the MoU, the ministry aims to train up to 500 Thai SELECT-certified food operators to be trained in digital technology and participate in the Line Man Wongnai platform. The certification awarded by the ministry guarantees the authentic taste of Thai food products.

Chinsupakul noted that 50,000 food operators have adopted the company’s point-of-sale system, with the addressable market potentially being 50% of all restaurants in Thailand. The company plans to offer more financial services and is likely to extend loans to merchants through partnerships such as one with Line BK.

Chinsupakul stated that Line Man Wongnai is progressing positively in business performance and is preparing for an initial public offering by the third quarter of 2025 at the earliest in Thailand, reported Bangkok Post.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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