India’s restaurant sector, currently pegged at Rs 3,09,110 crore ($48 billion), growing at a CAGR of 10 per cent to reach Rs 4,98,130 crore by 2021 as tier-2-3 regions are set to drive growth, reports the two-day Indian Restaurant Congress 2017 held on 28th and 29th August. Apart from Indian cuisine, Indian filter coffee is also making a comeback with pan-India growth plans as the Coffee Board of India plans a marketing and branding push to expand this niche market. “Our vision is to create a pure Indian filter coffee. By next year, we will have modern, clean, cool and affordable Coffee Houses across India offering Indian filter coffee and snacks. Till now, India has been a tea country, my objective is to also make it coffee country,” shares Srivatsa Krishna, CEO & Secretary, Coffee Board of India speaking at the congress. .
Zorawar Kalra, Founder and Managing Director, Massive Restaurants who owns Farzi Cafe, Masala Library and Papaya to name a few and the conference chairperson, says, “We are an important industry in India. The Indian restaurant market is 40 times that of Bollywood. The Indian food industry produces 2 per cent of India’s GDP and is second largest employer of human capital in the country after agriculture. As the Indian middle class is now spending more and more, food sector will automatically receive larger share out of their spending.”
Restaurateurs, chefs and industry leaders including Celebrity Chef Akmal Anuar (Co-Founder & Chef, 3Fils Restaurant),Unnat Varma (MD, Pizza Hut- India Subcontinent), Ashish Kapur (Founder & Director, Moods Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.), Sameer Bhasin (CEO, Barbeque Nation) and Varun Tuli (Director, Yum Yum Cha), among others were some of the speakers at the event.
Talking about consumer psychology in food and restaurant business, Indian Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar points “It’s important to know what consumers want, but it’s also important not to just give them what they want,” addingthat food is the balance of what consumers want and what you want to sell. And today there has to be a certain aspiration, certain newness behind any cuisine or concept in market. Otherwise, it’s like there is no expression left in the business.
According to the industry analysis and experts, North Indian is the highest preferred cuisines at 28% followed by Chinese at 19% and South Indian at 9%. Many Indian restaurants are now also looking to expand to global markets apart from the UK in the fine dining space.
The Restaurant Congress also organised a Bar & Cigar Summit and a Chai n Bun Summit on the sidelines of the two day conference.
"Today consumers who are drawn to an experiential dining experience are willing to pay more. Indian Restaurant Congress 2017 will share the building blocks of the food service in an innovative ecosystem. It is the platform where restaurants, chefs, brands would find future business models and ideas to address tomorrow's market demand", adds Ritu Marya, Director and Conference Convener, Franchise India.
Indian Restaurant Congress also organised, Indian Restaurant Awards on 29th evening to appreciate the brands in the industry. Award honoured over 90 restaurateurs and foodpreneurs for their outstanding work and prominence by acknowledging outstanding creativity, customer service and top quality dining that is on offer throughout India. Mr. Zorawar Kalra was awarded National Restaurateur of the Year, Chef Ranveer Brar was awarded est Chef of the Year, Mr. Priyank Sukhija of Lazeez Affaire Group was awarded Restaurant Icon of the Year, Maplai Restaurant was awarded by Best Indian Cuisine Restaurant of the Year-South, The Darzi Bar and Kitchen- A Unit of Radioactive Hospitality LLP was awarded Best Theme based Gastro-Pub of the Year, Chai Galli was awarded Best Regional Café of the Year – South to name of a few.