1:The F&B Industry has the highest failure rate. According to you, what are the two most important survival tactics in this highly competitive industry? The F&B industry’s closure rate of restaurants in India is significantly lower than the global averages and those in South East Asia. Given that, there are an increasing number of restaurants in different segments that close down with this being more a big city phenomenon. The most important survival tactics to succeed in the industry are to have a unique and differentiated concept in a sustainable location and provide consistently quality experiences to customers.
2:How do you think the digital influence is impacting the industry and how will it change the way business is done in the coming years? Social media and digital marketing are absolutely essential for all restaurants. In today’s connected world, a large majority of customers make their decisions on dining out or ordering on based on the restaurant’s social media profile and feedback from other customers. Restaurant owners need to ensure their brand’s social media profiles are always updated and also that any customer feedback is instantly responded to. Digital marketing is a great way to engage and communicate with the target audience on new outlets, product launches and other marketing promotions. Technology will also play an increasing role in various business aspects of the F&B industry including location choice, revenue predictions, cost optimization and enhancing productivity.
3: Do you think ‘Quick Service’ in a QSR has changed over time from what we knew it as? For the better or worse? The QSR segment has evolved and grown rapidly over the last few years. This is both in the Western Food based international QSR chains and a large number of domestic chains serving both Indian and western foods. There have been a variety of new concepts which have been very successful including those serving Indian snack food items, burgers, pizzas and momo’s. Concepts have also innovated with product ranges, format types and locations that include travel retail, office complexes, highways, educational institutions and hospitals in addition to malls and high street markets.
4: Regional and cultural diversity in India – how big an impact does it have on the success of a QSR/Café? Regional cuisine restaurants serving food ranging from Bengali, Kerala, Hyderabadi, Chetttinad, Assamese to Gujarati and Goan have opened in the QSR format often focusing on delivery and the casual café format. These have been largely opened in the large metro cities and been fairly successful. It is also essential for western QSR formats to ensure that their menus have adequate Indianized flavors and a menu that appeals to the customers. Many chains have been very successful in doing this and creating special range of products for the Indian market.