Besides architecture, modern amenities and a vibrant economy, the pink city is also known for the gastronomic delights it offers to its residents. Jaipur, already famous for its traditional fare comprising Daal Baati and Laas Maas, is at the threshold of entering a new territory where it aspires to cater to a growing section of people who want to try global cuisines. The Pink City has many functional multi-cuisine restaurants and the food scene is only going to get exciting with many big brands already penetrating the city.
Not just the big names are looking at the city for a presence but cloud kitchens based out of the city is luring investors and f&b giants for acquisitions. The recent acquisition of Jaipur-based cloud kitchen, White Kitchens will be instrumental to Curefoods’ Tier 2 expansion strategy. Similarly, when Shyam Thakur disclosed the expansion plan of Momo King, Jaipur was on his top list, owning to the growing demand.
“When it comes to looking at potential and opportunities for expansion, we identify a lot of potential in the city. We believe that tier 2 cities have become the breeding ground for opportunities due to the huge demand for quality products and limited options available,” he added.
Estimates vary but on average 20 percent of restaurants in Jaipur shut their shops due to Covid led crisis but those who survived limped back closer to normalcy much faster than in any other tier 2 cities. Before the pandemic, Jaipur had witnessed a surge in new restaurants. According to a data research website, the count went par 5000.
The two lost pandemic years stuck at home, contradictory though it may sound, both accelerated and slowed the move to tier-2 and tier-3 cities. At one level, youngsters who found themselves on a train or plane back to small-city India and the new world of work from home (WFH) have begun wondering whether they should return to the big city with its sky-high rents and hour-long commutes.
According to one estimate, 10 to 20 per cent of youngsters who don’t have customer-facing jobs are reluctant to return to big-city life. Jaipur in these last two years have got a lot of residents coming back and opting to stay forever, they have, however, bought back the exposure of multiple cuisines along with themselves, giving a push to brands to grow.
Looking at another aspect, Jaipur, which has the Mahindra World City sees plenty of hotels and restaurants growing fast in the vicinity. “IT biggies such as TCS, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra have opened up centres in Jaipur with major projects being executed in the software-services space. Other co-working companies, too, have spotted the opportunities. Smartworks is finalising co-working spaces in Jaipur. This has given a sudden rise in our customer base,” the owner of Daniel's Oriental Kitchen situated in the neighbourhood commented.
A recent study launched by MBA students indicated that social media though not much popular among consumers of Jaipur for restaurant selection is now a strong driving force. Online visibility through social media marketing is gradually becoming a secret weapon of restaurant owners in having a strong customer base. Consumer buying behaviour is changing very speedily & marketers have to change their strategies according to the scenario. Therefore now the restaurant marketers have to focus on their promotional strategies. They have to change it according to the preferences and behavioural patterns of the new digitally active consumer base.
The demand for global cuisines is on the rise and restaurateurs are reading it as an investment and expansion option. "The gennext is visibly drifting towards healthier eating options which spell a boon for most restaurant chains. With the average Indian more travelled and exposed to international cuisine, he/she is willing to experiment and settle for global flavours," said Kuldeep Singh, MD of Spice Court.
Other outlets like Meraaki Kitchen, The Forresta, Townsend Bar & Kitchen, Tapri Central, Cafe White Sage etc are beating the aristocracy of high end restaurants situated in the metros. While they are claiming positive turnover, owners are happy to plan for within city expansion, giving much-needed hint that the f&b market of Jaipur is booming, and the local patrons are demanding more.