The Food and Beverage (F&B) segment, globally and in India, has undergone a transformation, moving away from a “sub-segment of retail” to a” full-fledged segment” capable of functioning independently of traditional retail.
The change in our F&B landscape has been due to structural shifts in the eating out equation – increasing urbanization, rising disposable incomes, rising trend of socializing, nuclear families, and rising consumerism; all of which have orchestrated a change the way India dines.
Casual dining restaurants (CDR) has been a category that has gained significant traction in the past couple of years; with the category accounting for almost 46% of all restaurants that were a part of the survey done by CBRE. In terms of location, more than 60% of CDR’s in the survey are located on high streets.
According to experts, customers these days have money and they like to experiment, so when a new concept is launched most people give it a try. If the concept wins the guest by good service, affordable price, innovative ideas there is a repeat visit and the concept is successful. And, hence there is rise of new concepts within the category. Premium casual dining and affordable casual dining as a segment is wooing lots many new age customers who are hungry for new foods, concepts, trends and a lot more.
Emergence of Home grown Brands
Meanwhile, there are many home grown brands and chefs who are experimenting their hands on the above mentioned segments. Chefs like Hemant Oberoi who gave India the culture of fine dining restaurant came up with his own brand serving fine dining food at the Premium casual dining level. Promoters of Indigo restaurant that was one of the first fine dine restaurant in India to be opened at a highstreet came up with many new models of the restaurant and other restaurant concept in the affordable casual dining segment.
“Typically, Indian food is heavy for lunch but typically sales depend on location. Ironically CyberHub Dhaba is over packed for lunch and I think the reason for that is you have a lot of expats and you have a mix of entertaining them and giving them a meal in an Indian restaurant,” shared Kabir Suri, Co-Founder & CEO, Azure Hospitality that runs casual dining restaurants in both affordable as well as premium segment.
So, as the food and beverages landscape matures, it has given enough opportunity for the local and regional chains. With the availability of funding and PE investments in the F&B business, operators have expanded their brands across cities. NCR and Mumbai are the cities that witness the most "cross expansion", with chains headquartered in either of the two cities expanding to the other city fairly quickly.