Indian Restaurant industry is going through the biggest change today brought through innovations in concepts and menus by restaurateurs like Riyaaz Amlani, known for setting the brewing coffee culture in Mumbai with his brand Mocha, to Ketan Kadam, known for bringing in the night club life to the city.
The focus lies in the new age cafe brands that are gaining momentum, Amlani, Founder and CEO, Impresario Entertainment, has over 42 outlets running across 14 cities in India- Social and Smoke House Deli. Likewise, Ketan Kadam, who started his journey with night clubs and bars, exit the business just to serve Lebanese cuisine in Mumbai and Pune, and today, he stands with over 21 outlets in these two cities.
Hence, we could co-relate that the industry today demands more, the time is changing and people are more experimental and open to eating out and with this comes the greatest choice of what they are eating. And obviously the answer is, they are updated, the new age restaurants are coming up, cafes are gaining ground and innovative start-ups are looking to tap their pockets on a regular basis, to blow their hunger for decades.
Commenting on the same, Amlani shares, “We are focusing now on expanding our Smoke House Deli and Social brand. We want to focus on eight metros- Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata and we want to take social to all these places and in the next four years, we want to have around 80 social and 30 Smoke House Deli’s.”
And as today people are no more choosing cafes for just socialising themselves but instead to go to a place where they can interact and intermingle with people from different fields, social cafes and casual cafes are the way forward for these brands.
Smoke House Deli is the casual European Cafe which basically serves Pizza, Pasta, Burgers, Salads, Grills and Social is kind of all-day cafe cum bar and also has a workspace. So, in the morning, people come and continue their work.
“We provide more than a cafe. We give high Internet facility, locker facility, printers- 3D printers and they can use my address on their visiting cards,” adds Amlani.
Started his first cafe in year 2001, Impresario has raised two rounds of funding of about Rs 65 crore and is looking for a third round of investment of around $20 million to expand its reach to other cities and pan-India.
Meanwhile, Mocha, Amlani’s first venture is still operational in B-towns like Ludhiana, Hyderabad, Raipur, Vilaspur, Chandigarh, and Guwahati with a total of 24 outlets in these cities.
“It is becoming unviable to run coffee shops in top metros and it doesn’t justify the real estate because that real estate can earn you much more, so this is a waste of the resource if we are doing just coffee. And B-towns are doing amazing business because the rentals are low and you can afford to have a lower top but still have the high coffee table,” Amlani concluded.