China's catering industry posted a record high of 4.27 trillion yuan (about 628 billion US dollars) in revenue in 2018, coupled with encouraging trends.
The figure marked a rise of 9.5 percent from the previous year, accounting for 11.2 percent of the country's total retail sales of consumer goods, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Driven by consumption upgrade, the industry was heading into "a new era of innovation and high-quality development with supply-side reform as its mainstay," said Han Ming, director of China Hospitality Association.
Eco-friendly catering, or green catering, was a highlight of China's catering industry development in 2018.
In June 2018, Chinese government issued a guideline on advancing green catering, seeking to open 5,000 green restaurants and cut kitchen waste and energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of revenue by at least 20 percent by 2022.
The guideline called for a higher threshold for industry access, an evaluation system for eco-friendliness along the industry chain and less use of plastic packaging.
Provinces and cities in China have taken actions in line with the guideline.
The Catering Industry Association of Jiangsu Province in east China published a set of detailed green catering standards on Jan. 15, including requirements on safety, waste reduction and environmental protection. Nanchang, the capital city of the central China province of Jiangxi, is encouraging restaurants to use more recyclable appliances.