Thailand's quick-service restaurant business is booming, with K Research predicting an 8% rise in market value this year to THB21bn (US$586.7m). The boom in out-of-home spending on food has opened up opportunities for a diverse range of products including sandwiches, salads and pizzas.

The quick-service sector is still dominated by fastfood (67%), with burger joints accounting for 21.4% of the fastfood subcategory for a value of THB3bn. The Thai franchise for market leader McDonald's recently changed hands and is now owned by the Major Cineplex Group, Thailand's leading cinema chain.

Despite the rise of the burger in Thailand, chicken chains still dominate the fastfood subcategory, accounting for half its turnover (THB7bn). Chicken has long been the staple meat of the Thai population, and is set to grow by 6% in 2007, The Nation reported.

Pizza chains account for 28.6% of the fastfood subcategory and have been particularly aggressive at seeking growth, with many operators opening small outlets in grocery stores or on petrol forecourts in a bid to capture the take-home market.

Bakeries, coffee chains and sandwiches are also seen doing well this year, as consumers continue to warm to bread and butter, neither of which form part of the traditional Thai diet.