In a largely mixed environment of growth in retail markets across the world, India continues to be a bright spot. Over the last two years, the food service sector has seen an exponential growth reaching double digits. According to a recent report by FICCI-PwC, India’s food service is projected to grow at more than 10% over the next five years (2018–23).
Seeing all the opportunities and growth that the sector is offering, food-tech space has seen a new boom in the last few years. Technology is disrupting the market with the advent of web-based ordering and use of AI and IoT in ordering revolutionising home delivery with faster availability of food at ease.
“The food service industry also vouches for the higher demands in Tier II and Tier III cities. The rise in the number of transactions via mobile platforms has prompted retailers and e-com players to focus their growth efforts beyond the metros in India,” said Anurag Mathur, Leader, Retail and Consumer, PwC India.
What is Driving This Change
Not only this, the entry of new age food tech players has led to a massive transformation of how restaurant industry operated in last few years. “Growing disposable income and busy lifestyles of the young and working population, coupled with increasing internet penetration and rising smartphone users, will continue to drive India’s food tech market through 2021,” added the report.
With more than 900 food delivery start-ups in the country, the food tech space saw an investment worth US$370 million in 2017–18, up from US$70 million in 2016–17, which is more than 400% growth. Not only this major players like Swiggy, Zomato, FreshMenu, UberEats to name a few are constantly working to enhance the customer experience through their offers and discounts to lure more customers and add on the regular or loyal customers.
“India is a very different market as compare to globe. Scalability takes time in India and that’s where internet penetration comes in. For the first year we have seen people ordering food through Instagram,” shared Radhika Khandelwal, Owner, Fig & Maple.
Increase in Penetration of Smartphone
India has seen exponential growth in number of mobile phone users. Equally impressive has been the growth in internet access. Although mobile phones allow us to stay connected, it is the convergence of internet access and smartphones that has caused significant shifts in consumer awareness, outlook and behaviour. Also, people are now dependant on phones and internet for easy access to ordering food and finding the nearest restaurant and bar they want to spend and enjoy their time.
“Year on year technology has seen a new boom in restaurant’s growth. Restaurants have witnessed an increase in home delivery sales, branding focusing on an improved communication,” pointed, Pravesh Pandey of big Brewski that is planning to come up with a self integrated customer app to enhance the customer experience.
Thus, we can say that the emergence and success of food delivery and ordering platform is a matter of convenience, reliability and easy access. From providing backend support, to enabling easy ordering and payment, technology has set a new dimension for the growth of restaurants in India.