In the last two years, Indian customers have become highly choosy and experimental when it comes to eating out. Today, people eat out for better experience, fun and obviously an everlasting experience. They are no more looking at an extensive menu or a place where they can go daily, but a restaurant which can be the next place to be.
Today, consumer are getting more aspirational with growing trends of new age mall mania, munching over movie, and obviously growing trends of neighbourhood restaurants. And, gone are the days when people used to eat out with friends or socialise over drink and snacks. According to latest NRAI Food service report, 36 per cent of people dine out over family bonding, followed by fun seeker at 25 per cent, Socialiser at 15 per cent and lastly the rowing or the discerning urbans at 24 per cent who are eating for experiment and are in search of a varied cuisine.
The new consumer mojo
“The next big thing in India is the emergence of new customers who are coming in. What you need to understand about them is very important,” believes AD Singh, Managing Director, Olive Bar & Restaurant. Today’s customers are not exposed to what is happening in global market, neither they are sophisticated, but they are curious. They are regular followers of social media and have little knowledge of international trends. They are willing to try new things and value for money is very important for them. They want to feel that they are seated at a global platform, but they want to taste things they are comfortable with. “It is a classic global-local situation,” added Singh mentioning that they are sharing generations and are doing things which they can share.
But, as they have little knowledge of the global happenings, they don’t want food to directly come to their table, rather they want it to be topped with entertainment. “We get calls from customers asking who is playing tonight,” shares Priyank Sukhija who owns some of the most hep bars in Delhi. Today, the focus has really shifted towards entertainment apart from food. Emphasis on comfort food has really gone up, all thanks to the frequency of people visiting a restaurant or bar. “People who used to dine out two days a month are probably dining 20 days a month as there is a need for comfort food,” added Sukhija.
Technology is the king
Who doesn’t want his food to be delivered to the place he is most comfortable with? Today, Foodies are scouting for new delivery options, which can give them plethora of verity, great experience and rapid delivery. Industry is open to innovation seeing the customers as they have become lazier putting the least effort. “We are trying to be innovative in food, packaging we give at the airports. We did a research and found that 30 per cent of our guest used to eat at the gates and hence we started taking orders from airport gates with a promise to get their food delivered in 15 minutes,” adds Varun Kapur, Executive Director, K Hospitality Corp.
Adding to the same lines, Rahul Singh, MD & CEO, The Beer Cafe says, “I believe that you can surely create an enterprise. But, when technology comes in, you become fast and efficient. We use our own app which is 21 per cent of all our transactions which are scanned by customers to earn loyalty points. I always believe in our product, one brand and if I can’t innovate I won’t grow.”
Hence, with innovations making a wave in the industry, we can say that today’s customers have become smarter and are looking for a vivid experience.