Lunch voucher sector in Turkey on its way to becoming a giant
While the industry has reached an annual turnover of 1,5 billion, smart cards have become more popular.
Recognition of tax relief for lunch vouchers distributed by companies to their employees helps the market grow gradually.
Lunch vouchers were first introduced to business life in France 35 years ago.
In Turkey, private companies and public institutions began to give their employees meal cards in 1990s. Instead of offering in-house catering services businesses can cover their employees’ food expenses with checks or cards limited to fixed amounts.
Lunch vouchers sector achieved a significant growth in the last decade and in 1997 in specific withn the introduction of meal cards.
Currently a wide range of organizations, from banks to holding companies and to services industry use lunch vouchers.
Within this range SME also have a dominant position. Recognition of tax relief for lunch vouchers distributed by companies to their employees helps the market grow rapidly.
Meal cards sector which has reached a turnover of 1,5 billion TL is dominated by 3 companies; Ticket Restaurant, Sodexo and Multinet.
The number of Multinet users have exceeded 330,000. Ticket Restaurant system includes 14,500 corporate clients. Some 300,000 of these organizations benefit from the system.
Sodexo on the other hand provides services to more than 20,000 spots across Turkey.
Lunch voucher sector which mainly has a client portfolio of SMEs
is expected to witness increase in number of companies and users because companies can deduct this food aid from the amount of tax they are normally supposed to pay. This way, the system helps companies increase daily food allowance without having to pay additional tax for the food allowance thus pulling down the money spent for the employee but thus bringing up their purchasing power.
TO RECAP, Turkey which has one of the fastest developing economies in the world and a very fast growing young population is without doubt going to be among the most attractive markets for the global lunch voucher companies.
compiled by Editor, Business Turkey Today, 2011