Forget about going to a restaurant when you have a reason to celebrate. Today, people are eating and dining out to just hang around. One day if the person is out on a coffee date with a client, the other day he is seen spending quality time over family dining. Meanwhile, he is also taking some quality time spending for himself over a glass of wine at his favourite pub or night club. The trend has changed. People are balancing life so their eating habits. In case of the Millennials (18 to 34 year olds), they visit restaurants more than any other generation. A recent study conducted by foodservice research group, Technomic, delved further into the expectations of Millennial (beyond their palate preferences) by examining the restaurants they considered more socially responsible (think sustainable, green, local, hormone free and organic food, and community involvement).
These days people do not view eating out as a ‘food affaire’ but is more than getting the right menu on the plate, it is all about experience, from the moment one enter into a restaurant to every single moment he spends at a particular restaurant. According to NRAI Foodervice report, over 36% people out on eating are family bonding seeker, followed by fun seeker at 25%, discerning urban at 24% and socializer at 15%. The same is happening with our food products company as customers are loking for much varied options. RoohAfza fame in every house has come up with RoohAfza Fusion just to cater to the new age customers. “When we started evaluating the brand two years back there were two to three issues that were to be addressed- the brand needs to be more relevant to youth as today’s youth is looking more of convenience and aspiration based products. The health conscious Indian people are moving away from carbonated drinks, they are getting more into natural stuff. This prompted us to shortlist the juice category. We also wanted to be more relevant to youth in the convenient format where the growth is huge and massive,” shares Mansoor Ali, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Hamdard.
Today, there is room for everyone to grow because the person visiting the same restaurant has decreased. The customers are much more mature and they try something new every time they visit a restaurant. And experimentation and innovation is what they have stricted themselves into. “The response has been overwhelming. We have been welcomed with open arms by the top influencers of the city. The media has been very supportive in spreading our philosophy. We have several repeat clienteles and this means the world to us as it was thanks to them that we got voted the No. 1 restaurant of the year,” shares Aditi Dugar, Owner- Maque who during researching about restaurants realised that Indians traditionally ate food that was seasonal. “We understood that to get optimal flavour naturally, we need to let the vegetables and fruits grow as nature has planned for them. Eating seasonal food is the best way to eat because the flavours and nutrition in the produce is at its peak,” adds Dugar.
And as the brand grows, the customer experience newness, the digital disruption is what the customer wants today-more than just ordering their food online, food porn has grown over the last two years where before indulging into food people click their photos and share among their social network via instagram, Face book and other networking sites. And hence the brands are moving towards technology led partnership with their customers.
“Restaurants used to be a page 3 affair earlier but today every single customer visit a restaurant with the same pride. They dress up nice to eat and drink out a restaurant, points Khodu Irani, Partner at High Spirits Pune.
Hence, with changing time, the restaurants need to be out of their pseudo-modernisation mode, amalgation of traditional cuisine with a modern touch makes it worth gaining business rather than just serving the way it was few years back.