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INTERVIEW

"With the rise of delivery apps, restaurants have broader reach"
Monday, 25 September, 2023, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
The journey of Richboyz Entertainment started with Bombay Adda (Bandra) and R-Adda (Juhu), iconic names in the Mumbai hospitality sector. Having ventured into the space 15 years ago, they have seen the growth and evolution of the sector.

Gaurav Parikh and Anuj Chugh, co-owners, Richboyz Entertainment, share in depth about the restaurant industry, growth and expansion, trends and innovations, and future plans, in an email interaction with Aanchal Chaudhary. Excerpts:

How has the restaurant industry evolved over the years?
Over the years, the restaurant industry in India has undergone significant transformations. Traditionally, Indian dining was mostly limited to home-cooked meals and street food vendors. However, with globalisation and urbanisation, there has been a remarkable shift in eating habits and dining preferences. The rise of the middle class, along with increased disposable income, has led to a surge in the demand for dining out experiences.

Moreover, the concept of fine dining and themed restaurants has gained popularity, providing customers with unique and immersive experiences. Additionally, technology has played a vital role, with the advent of food delivery apps and online restaurant reservations making it easier for consumers to access their favourite eateries. Health-conscious dining has also become a prominent trend, leading to the emergence of restaurants specialising in organic, vegan, and gluten-free options. These changes reflect the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of the restaurant industry in India, adapting to meet the evolving demands of its diverse customer base.

How has the shift towards online food delivery services affected the restaurant industry?
The shift towards online food delivery services has significantly impacted the restaurant industry. With the rise of food delivery apps and platforms, restaurants now have a broader reach and access to a larger customer base beyond their physical locations. This has resulted in increased visibility and brand exposure, allowing even smaller establishments to compete in the market.

What are the challenges faced by the company in this industry?
In the competitive restaurant industry in India, companies face challenges such as intense competition, balancing quality and cost-effectiveness, food price fluctuations, staff recruitment, changing consumer preferences, and managing online presence and customer feedback.

Tell us about the R&D that goes into launching a new menu?
Launching a new menu involves meticulous research and development to ensure its success. The process begins with in-depth market analysis and customer surveys to understand current food trends, preferences, and dietary demands. Chefs and culinary experts experiment with various ingredients, flavours, and cooking techniques to craft innovative dishes that align with the restaurant's theme and target audience. Extensive taste testing and feedback sessions follow to refine and perfect the menu offerings. Nutritional considerations and sourcing sustainable ingredients also play a crucial role in menu development.

What are some sustainable practices that you have implemented in restaurants?
In our restaurants, sustainability is at our core. We source locally, use seasonal ingredients, and cut single-use plastic. Water and energy conservation are a priority, and we minimise food waste through portion control and other means that avoid food wastage.

Cafe chains in India are now growing faster than quick service restaurants (QSR). Comment.
Cafe chains in India are surging ahead of quick service restaurants (QSR) due to their relaxed ambiance, specialty coffee, healthier food options, and appeal as social hubs for millennials and Gen Z. The rise of cafe culture reflects the evolving dining preferences and lifestyle choices of the Indian population.

How do you adapt to changing consumer preferences and trends?
Adapting to changing trends is vital. Stay vigilant, research, and gather feedback. Embrace flexibility and innovation to meet shifting demands. Personalise experiences for strong customer connections. Open communication ensures customer satisfaction. Stay agile and proactive, turning challenges into growth opportunities for a prosperous future.

What are the qualities that make a successful restaurant professional?
First and foremost, impeccable customer service skills are essential, as creating a positive dining experience is paramount. A strong work ethic and the ability to thrive under pressure are crucial, ensuring smooth operations even during busy periods. Adaptability and creativity are prized assets, enabling the professional to navigate diverse challenges and innovate in a competitive industry.

Any future plans or upcoming projects?
We are set to expand presence across India, bringing exceptional offerings to multiple cities. Our plans include strengthening the outlets in Mumbai, Goa, and Bengaluru, while simultaneously venturing into Indore, Lucknow, Pune, Nagpur, Delhi, and Chandigarh. Our vision extends far beyond borders as we aspire to reach international destinations like Dubai, London, and Colombo in the long run.
 
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