Consumer of today has become much more nuanced, health-focused and they want to know the source of food they are consuming. No wonder the demand for everything organic is growing leaps and bounds. Gluten-free, preservative-free, vegan and locally sourced are new buzzwords. In this context, the importance of sustainability in the restaurant business and clean menu has become pivotal to the food business. And, with this we have seen an emerging importance of sustainability in the restaurant business including Clean Menus, Natural Ingredients and Green initiatives:
Sustainability is Driving the Biz: The young generations are very mindful of its social responsibilities. “When I speak to my children they often ask me about sustainable practices a lot more than I think it naturally occurs to me or people in my generation,” says Harshvardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group. Restaurants that are serving, healthy, fresh food using sustainable practices is a big hit and is a wonderful way to serve that part of our society.
Consolidation is the Key: “Overexpansion, not being able to consolidate is few mistakes that we learnt as a restaurateur,” points Anjan Chatterjee, Chairman and MD, Speciality restaurants by adding that one need to realize that sustainability comes in when they understand the store matrix. If your rental is more than 10-12 per cent of the business in today’s time, your business can not sustain for a longer period of time. Hence, one should always start small, consolidate, and work at an expandable model which is relevant to the market.
Setting the Right Customer Expectation: “If I am opening a restaurant I need to set an expectation but the problem begins when we are not able to meet that expectation,” added Ajit Singh, Owner, Bareback Hospitality. So, when people walk into any restaurant and they don’t enjoy the experience and they didn’t have the kind of the experience that the restaurateur hope they would have, the restaurant will fail. Everyone has a decision to make for themselves before they setup a restaurant believes the expert.
Giving back to the Community: Not only this, sustainable cuisine or menu is more like a responsible cuisine and menu. It is not about what restaurants want to make and what they want to serve for customers. “It is important for us to realize that what we are doing on a daily basis for the community and first put things on the menu which are local, healthy and also keep a tap on what all we are wasting,” points Anurudh Khanna, Multi-property Executive Chef, Westin Hotels by adding that if we do this right, we can serve food for next 100 years and if we don’t, we are not going to exist.
It’s about Food People can Co-relate: Gone are the days when we used to dine socially now we drink socially. So, the priority has changed from just dining to drinking. “Drinking remains the priority when it comes to socializing, meeting friends or being on the table with your loved ones,” points Vishal Atreya, Managing Partner, The Pump House. In terms of food there is no much change. Comfort food has taken the centre-stage today. It is much about fun food, finger food with no fine presentation.
Product First, Brand Later: “We need to change the product interface by product first and brand later by making it a product first experience,” shares Munaf Kapadia, Chief Eating Officer at The Bohri Kitchen who is running a cloud kitchen business since 2014. If we look at bigger picture of the retail sector, for eg: if we are ordering a jeans or t-shirt from amazon it will give us a wide option of the product and not just brand. But when we order food through an aggregator we can’t order a biryani from the The Bohri kitchen and a Pizza from Domino’s in the same funnel. So, why not we list product first and brand second by doing multiple brand within the same cart.
It’s About Feasibility of the Concept: “I have been working as an entrepreneur for over 10 years now. It just came out of passion that if there was no consulting or no business what do we do,” says Om Nayak, Chef and Owner, The Past Bowl Company by adding that getting us in the restaurant business realized that it is not just about concept but it was feasibility of a concept. It is about taking care of all those small aspects of business and obviously clubbing it with your passion and learning over the years and making it feasible and a restaurant with repeat customer.