Restaurant India and Franchise India group has set a benchmark with their Indian Restaurant Congress and Awards among restaurant fraternity for building a world class show on the business of restaurants in India. After 9 successful on ground editions, this year the group entered to cities by doing the city editions. The first city edition was successfully done in Chennai in April followed by even much successful ‘Restaurant India Conference and Awards’ on 1st July at ITC Maratha, Mumbai.
Looking at all the innovations and changes that the sector has gone through, Restaurant India Conference focused on talking about ‘New Age Restaurants’ by sharing insights on investment and expansion, need for growth, tech-led innovations be it food delivery business, adoption of technologies including AI, Automation and Contactless Delivery/payments to name a few.
During the last 2-3 years restaurant business has gone through lots of innovation both at the on-premise and off-premise level. While the world is under a suspension, India is already on its way to rise from the debris and restaurants have come a long way. With the surging demand for food, many restaurants in specific have witnessed a surge in their profit compared to the normal days.
The show witnessed participation from across the sector and has seen over 300 people in attendance. Some of the key speakers included; Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, VP- FHRAI, Pawan Shahri, CEO & Founder, Chrome Hospitality that owns new age restaurants like London Taxi, Donaa Deli, Syesha Kapoor, Associate Director, Silver Beach Hospitality that houses modern age bars like Radio Bar, Opa, Estella to name a few and Aditi Dugar who owns India’s one of the top dining destination Masque Restaurant, Karan Kapur, Executive Director, K Hospitality Corp to name a few.
“As everybody knows that data is king but the kind of restaurant we operate is that our data is so experience driven as we are not in a quick service, delivery model but our information is targeted to a targeted audience. Analyzing the data at every point, who is entering the store, who is buying it online so that we can enhance the SEO. But it’s important on how you can convert that data into really becoming your audience,” pointed Dugar.
The experts also discussed the importance of data, technology-led businesses, loyalty and how important it is for a restaurant business to succeed.
Commenting on the same, Syesha Kapoor pointed, “Loyalty is both yes and no because we have so many restaurants and most of them are in sub-urb. But as we have data for all our restaurants and I would know by faces of customers/ people who would come to our restaurant regularly. And, I also know a section who always want to try something new and as new places are opening, lots of exciting thing happening, innovation is taking place. So, while we have a section who always come to try our experience as end of the day product has to be the king and the loyalty will keep getting multiplied but if not they won’t come again.”
The conference also witnessed top investors like Nandini Mansinghka of Mumbai Angels, Saurabh Mehta from L Catterton, Abhishek Agarwal of Rockstud Capital to name a few.
Talking about the decline in restaurant investment Mansinghka added, “The restaurant business is a personality, passion and experience driven business and should be able to deliver a consistent, recurrent experience. Also, it is very important to know that will it survive beyond the personality that runs it. You need to get away from personality and scale to get large money come in.”
She also shared that out of 200 portfolio that they have 22-23 are food and beverage businesses and though it really looks large because it is 10 per cent but if you break it down further 14-15 businesses are actually packaged food. The rest out of it is cloud kitchen, logistics HORECA- i.e ingredients, backend etc. So, one needs to really move out of personality driven business to scale and invest in the restaurant space.
The conference also witnessed top chefs and cloud-kitchen players like Saransh Goila of Goila Butter Chicken fame, Munaf Kapadia of Bohri Kitchen, Anurag Mehrotra of Charcoal Eats, Chandrashekar Rai from Foodlink Restaurants amongst others.
The conference was followed by awards that saw huge participation from the industry by bringing the who’s who of the sector together. Some of the notable celebrities and chefs who attended the awards included; celebrity chef Ranveer Brar, Husband-wife duo actor Parvin Dabas and Preeti Jhangiani, DJ-model Zulfi Syed to name a few.