Start of financial year and many restaurants and pubs have either shut down or their ownership has changed. Which all do you know? This conversation started on a social media group based out of NCR by the admin who himself has worked a lot on restaurant marketing and branding. The discussion turned exciting with people mainly restaurateurs and industry experts coming up with their view point on the sector.
It’s true that every one believes that opening a place is the easiest thing to do but only a few knows that running it is a different story. Restaurants in India range from a low entry barrier to a very high setup. And, hence everyone with a very less or no experience and hand full of money dream of owning one such entity. But little did they know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
“Increased competition, thinning margins because of various discount app, many preferring home delivery, aahatas eating into pubs etc are some of the reasons for the slowdown,” shared Pawan Soni who started this discussion.
In the last few months, restaurants like Zizo, 7 Degrees Brauhaus, Lock & Key, Khyen Chyen, Batli 29 to name a few in Gurgaon have either shut their shop or have changed their names and ownership to survive in this fast-hitting market. Cursed by legalities and its nature of operations, there is nothing new if we say that 80-90 % of restaurants are closed in 12-18 months of their opening. But it’s true, government policies, high rentals, high attrition, GST and Excise Fee on the sector to name a few is killing the ever blooming restaurant industry.
“Restaurant should run on content and consistency. Govt policies are same for the ones which close and the ones that do bumper business , it’s a level playing field so I would not blame the policies. Dining out has become a more viable option basis the GST cut. There is no formula for success but certain things do help,” shared Tarun Sibal, Co-Founder, One Fine meal who believed that a clear understanding of your own product, the reason for you to be in the food business, are you happy to serve people, not compromising on quality plate after plate , drink after drink ? These are all questions one should ask before one wants to be a part of the business.
Also, Sector-29 in Gurgaon which became a nightlife destination with restaurants like Prankster, Vapour Bar Exchange, Warehouse Café to name a few is lately turning out to be sour destination for people who not only want to just enjoy loud music but hospitality to a larger extent. And, the scene has become worst for this location with places like Walking Street, Vapour Bar Exchange, Warehouse Cafe, Big boys Lounge looking for someone to adopt them.
“You only need a lot of liquidity if you intend to run for a long time at a loss. This usually happens if you are discounting, or have high overheads or don't have a suitable product or just a combo of all three,” pointed Dev Lall one of the member of the group.
Hence, there is no point in denying that restaurants with unique concept, focus customer centric approach, honest communication, exceptional food & service and delivery can survive. Shortcuts don't work in this hard-hitted industry.