The restaurant business was somewhat stunted in the third quarter this year but is expected to improve in the fourth quarter, mostly for those that serve foreign food, a sentiment survey showed Friday.
The Korea Restaurant Business Index, released jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the Korea Agro-Fisheries and Food Trade Corp., measured at 68.91 in the past quarter, lower than the 69.04 of the second quarter. The index is derived based on sales during the current and previous two months and prospects for the coming three months. A measurement of under 100 means a negative sentiment while over 100 indicates improvement.
The index for the fourth quarter came to 74.94, up from the third quarter, suggesting expectations of better business.
Industry officials say the figure for the third quarter reflects a contraction in consumer sentiments from July despite overall signs of economic recovery.
The index was highest for businesses that sell foreign foods. It rose to 96.39 in the third quarter, up 13.17 points from the previous quarter. On the other hand, measurement for fast food businesses fell from 83.10 to 68.65, as did the nonalcoholic beverage business, which dropped from 82.12 to 75.10.
Catering (54.24) and chicken stores (61.48) were still below average in the index.
Projections for the fourth quarter remained upbeat for foreign food restaurants, measuring at 94.28. Western food businesses measured at 94.28 and Japanese food restaurants at 85.14.
In the third quarter, restaurants on the southern island of Jeju (75.64) and the western port city of Incheon (74.42) fared relatively better than other major cities.
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