With increasing overheads and newer food service concepts emerging, restaurants are now trying to provide an experience and cater to the interests of the new generation.
Catering to the selfie-loving millennials, SK Restaurants has a selfie point in its restaurants in metro cities. “We know that when the food is served it is first going to be clicked and uploaded on Instagram or Facebook. These days we are giving an additional emphasis on presenting the food beautifully. We understand that online food reviews and food blogs influence millennials in deciding where to eat and what to eat,” said Rajeev Matta, COO of SK Restaurants.
Wifi is a must in today’s restaurants. The restless generation cannot wait till the food arrives and keeps fiddling with their mobile phones. For them, we offer different types of table games like scrabble, card games and ludo while waiting for the food.
The total food services market in India is estimated to be Rs 3.09 lakh crore, growing at a CAGR of 10 per cent to touch Rs 4.98 lakh crore by 2021.Despite this growth potential, several restaurant ventures have failed in the past. As per the estimates of National Restaurant Association of India around 50 per cent of restaurants opened in recent years have been closed down.
Restaurants have several overhead costs like high rentals, infrastructure and manpower. They have to worry about parking and the traffic and also about the taxes and food inflation. They also face competition from newer concepts.
Cloud kitchen is an emerging concept for people who order food home.
While the margins of restaurants are small due to several overheads, cloud kitchens have an advantage of low rental costs of operating in a centralised unit. They don’t have to worry about traffic, parking, people to serve or dine-in facility. Restaurants will have to reinvent themselves to be relevant for the customers,” said Srini Vudayagiri, investment director and partner of Peepul Capital.
Venture Capital-backed restaurant chains like Mast Kalandar and Ammi’s Biriyani have shifted their focus to cloud kitchen model. “The service is what makes a restaurant experience different from what is ordered home. Several restaurants are providing additional training to the service staff and getting well-established chef to help them with presentation and service,” he said.
Chefs no longer remain within the kitchen. They come out and mingle with the guests and get feedback from them. Earlier chefs in star hotels had a chance to meet the guests and now those in restaurants too have started coming out.
Customisation is yet another way in which restaurants make the customers feel special. With the help of technology, several restaurant chains are capturing important data about the customer, about his preferences and choices to offer customised food.
“We store data about what the customer has been ordering and based on that find out his tastes,’ said Matta.