It is very easy to open a restaurant but to run the same restaurant at the same pace is very difficult. According to the study, 90 per cent of the restaurants that opens fail in its first year of operations and 96 per cent of the restaurants close in its second year. To cop up with this situation restaurants have to keep innovating and market themselves in a way that there is no halt for the continuous growth.
The New Age Digital Play
“We are looking at tapping the millennial and are trying to market to them. Digital is a great medium as every brand is trying to do that. For us, the marketing is very local and we don’t spend big perks on print and radio campaigns but we would like to do more local stuffs. For e.g. our outlets in Whitefield, Bengaluru is very close to the IT hubs and we know that all the corporate cant step out every day. So, we say we will get Chilli’s to you if you want it,” points Ashish Saxena, CEO, TexMex Cuisines Pvt Ltd which runs Chilli’s in South and West India. This does two things; identifies the customers who really can’t step out and builds the loyalty of the brand in that corporate house.
“The biggest transformation that has happened in our country is the digi-tech transformation. Having access through digital platforms for various services has certainly made brands available across those platforms. I think the day and age of physical printed coupons are over. Also, arena of store by store retail tie up is gone though there is lots of value attached to it. It takes a lot of efforts to get things going,” points Unnat Varma, MD, Pizza Hut India Subcontinent, adding that the result of this in overall business is very miniscule in order to the effort that was put in.
The two major problems that restaurants are witnessing are- getting the regular customers to walk in and getting the local customers a repeat business to come in. “We focus that the restaurants get the right traction and customers to focus on your brand. We give that visibility to the brand so that the customers come in,” adds Sahil Jain, Co-Founder, Dineout.
Commenting on the same, Sagar Daryani, CEO and Co-Founder, Wow! Momo which started as a small outlet has reached a good odd number of 120 plus outlets shares, “Shop and shop is a blessing for us. And, we really leverage that before we moved to high street and malls. Today, we are in talk with Big Bazar to open our outlets throughout the country. We do 20000 orders per month for Swiggy. It’s all about visibility. If your product is good, service is good nobody can stop you from making a brand. Also, flash sales or blast sales at Groupon or nearbuy really work in making a visibility.”
Creating a Wow Moment!
Marketing alone is not important for a restaurant to get the customers in. They have to create that Wow! moment which is luring customers to try their product. It is more about engaging the right customers than marketing it right to the wrong customers. “We have very strong product innovations. We are coming with Wai Wai bhujia as we realised that people are eating wai wai raw,” points Varun Chaudhary, ED, Wai Wai City which has done lots of innovations when it comes to entering a new market or city. “As we are entering south we realised that people eat rice more so our team is blending noodles and rice to come up with something similar to the regional taste,” adds Chaudhary pointing that innovation is nonstop and is going to move every day.
Similarly, Sam Chopra who brought third largest burger chain Carl’s Jr two years back to the Indian market made it a point not to go and compete with any brand. “We chose to compete on products rather than brand. We have taken best products of every brand and competed with it. We are trying to do best of the innovations,” says Chopra.
Hence, we can say that there is lots of branding and association done digitally and restaurants are engaging in dramatic tie ups with food aggregators. It’s about corporate tie ups, co- branding and marketing these days.