Over the period of time restaurant industry has become a trend in itself. About 50 per cent of India's population eats out at least once in every three months and eight times in every month in bustling metros as compared to the US (14 times), Brazil (11 times), Thailand (10 times) and China (9 times)," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
Restaurant business has always been an industry depending heavily on consumer preferences. It becomes crucial for a restaurateur to understand what a customer of today and tomorrow expects when he goes to eat out. It is a restaurateur’s responsibility to treat customer in the best manner and it starts right from the point he walks in to the restaurant. “In past 18 years, we have seen a huge change in restaurant industry. The first 12 years were the years of smooth selling and suddenly the whole pattern changed because there were millennial and it is a drudgery to impress them. The aspirations were growing up and needs were changing. We realised that whole market has changed and driven by youngsters and of course we also had to reinvent then,” says Anurag Katriar, CEO at DeGustibus Hospitality.
Not only restaurant industry has changed drastically but customers have become smarter. They do not visit a restaurant for food only; they are always up to feel the ambience, the zeal and the service. “If I ask somebody that why are they visiting a restaurant then they might simply say for food. Definitely food is the core and it has to be at par but what is the next thing which brings back the customer. There has to be some novelty factors. That novelty factor came from our tie up with MTV which is one of the greatest entertainment providers. So by having an alliance with MTV, we make sure that we get best of the talents to come over and show their talent in front of the world. We’re not only promoting vocal talent, we are trying to align a bridge for the people who can’t make it to the television and that is how we are providing best of our services to the priceless customer,” says Jasmeet Singh Marwah, Chairman & Managing Director at Funbars Hospitality Private Ltd.
Restaurant’s ambience, customer service and interaction with customers influence customers more and make them believe that the price is worth paying for the experience according to a study. All in all, restaurateurs need to set expectations carefully so that they don’t end up hitting their own head. In all customer experiences, customer management is half the ball game. Restaurants today should be more pretentious about quality and service and of course they can’t forget food. “We are trying to create a niche’ but there are places opening every second day. That is why I keep saying that one needs to be honest with the product and of course one should keep the Indian price sensitive market in mind because if you are not creating a value for money product with stupendous service experience and alluring ambience then you are over. Earlier it was all about reinventing the restaurant yearly but now it’s about reinventing daily to maintain that upper hand in the market,” adds Suved Lohia, Partner at HopScotch Bar & Brasserie.
Customers want something more exciting every time. Nothing less than that is a ‘big No-No’ for them.Things have changed drastically as compared to before. Point is that industry is moving in the direction where people want to feel that overall experience.