Over the years, the Indian food culture has seen a tremendous growth. From being an occasion-driven business, it has become a necessity in itself. This growth is not helping the trends to grow but is also pushing a heavy sectoral growth. According to the NRAI food service report, the QSR segment is to grow at a CAGR of 22 per cent to reach Rs 24,665 crore by 2021 from Rs 9,125 crore in 2016, it has also become one of the fastest growing segments in the country.
The Changing Trends
Technology, eating out behaviour, culture in terms of cuisines and their emergence, has evolved like never before. Today people are moving towards the changes that they see in the global countries, casual dining and QSR chains alone constitutes 77 per cent of the overall market. And markets like Pune, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad are turning out to be the great places to invest in. Pune being the industrial zone has seen some of the top brands opening up their restaurants and bars in the recent years. Bengaluru, on the other hand, has become the home to a large number of night clubs and pubs, and surprisingly Hyderabad, which is known for its legacy and vintage foods, would be witnessing global brands like IKEA that is planning to open their first restaurants in the city. “The most visited cities globally has vibrant restaurant and nightlife culture,” says Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, who believes that 98 per cent of Indians are not eating out for convenience but for them eating out is a treat.
Localization is the Key
No matter how successful your brand is at one location, you will have to customize it to the other location as well. Hyper local is the new wave in the industry. Restaurant today are not only focusing on the best ingredients but also vouching for locally sourced ingredients. “You need to localise your brand according to the customer taste as every city has its own market,” says Tanai Shirali, Director-Operations, Bellona Hospitality adding that a similar restaurant needs to do different pricing and menu tweak for other location because of consumer sensibility.
Commenting on the same, Khodu Irani, Partner, High Spirits, Pune points, “It is all about the offering. You need to keep doing something different and innovative in order to create that buzz in the customers.”
It’s All About Indulgence
People visit restaurants for experience. It is no more food today, it is about ‘foodtainment’ - the experience that they receive while eating out. Over the years, the continuous evolvement in economic, social and demographic changes has reshaped the Indian consumer’s profile. According to the NRAI report, 36 per cent people who are eating out is a family-bonding seeker, followed by fun-seeker at 25 per cent, then discerning urban at 24 per cent and socialiser at 15 per cent pushing the growth of each segment. As per the report, pubs, bars cafes & lounges (PBCL) alone is growing at 22 per cent for the next five years inviting more investment into the business. “People come for experience to a restaurant. Problems happen when expectation goes beyond so a restaurant should inform the customer about time taken to get the food being served,” adds Anurag Katriar, ED & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality, who believes that eyes do not eat first, consumer eat first.
Hence, we can say that it’s all about food experience. If someone is going to a QSR, he is looking to grab the meal and leave quickly, he is looking for value for money. And if he is heading for a casual dine restaurant, he is in a mood to celebrate and is looking for some novelty, along with the experience. If he opts for a fine dine restaurant and is hanging out with a friend, then he will look out for a cafe.