Harshavardhan Neotia

Conference Chairperson and Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group

Chairperson's Note

Disruption in Restaurants Across India - the Only Way to Survive!

In this age of unbridled innovation and unabated pursuit of optimal performance, disruption is the norm in the restaurant business in India. Unless the industry adapts to these disruptions — on multiple fronts — the future seems shaky, to say the least.

With the advent of web-based ordering and use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things), digitalization has taken the food industry by storm. Food aggregators have already changed the dynamics of the business. Online peer reviews have challenged the traditional communication models. Reality shows and series like MasterChef and Chef’s Table have transformed the average plain-Jane to a food connoisseur.

According to a recently released TechSci Research report, “India Foodtech Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2021", the food-tech market in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 12 per cent during 2016 - 2021. Backed by growing internet penetration, increasing smartphone users, a proliferating e-commerce market along with a rising young working population, the food-tech market is in full bloom in the country and beyond.

According to a recent report (by App Annie, a mobile analytics and market data platform), India has seen an explosion of session’s growth in Food and Drink apps in 2018, up 120 % from 2016.

Disruption is not just digital. From stringent food safety regulations and the GST regime to peoples’ changing dietary preferences and choice of payment gateways— disruptions are visible in every aspect of the F&B industry.

In the age of home delivery and cloud kitchens, it is vital to have a strategy in place. Today’s entrepreneur needs to be smart enough to identify these disruptions at an early stage, formulate and implement effective strategies, without compromising on valueslike ‘people factor’ and ‘personal gratification’ that have always been at the heart of the service industry.