In the new age of fusion foods and globally-acclaimed chefs, what builds or destroys a restaurant is not necessarily its food, but the design that has the capacity to attract a large number of customers to dine at the outlet.
Earlier, primary existence of many restaurants was to lay out a sumptuous meal, but with changing times it progressed to diners seeking splendid dining experiences, which could be as varied as adventure, serenity, concept and theme along with a nourishing food palate.
Rightly said, first impression makes a lasting impact, and why not? Unmistakably, the potential diners and customers come in touch with the ambience of the restaurant first; then with the food.
And as we have seen, in the last one year, the global restaurants which have entered India have shown as much flair and innovation in their architecture and interiors as they have in serving their cuisine. From Burger King, the Miami-based burger chain to Wendy’s, the Ohio located burger chain, Taco Bell, known for its nachos and Mexican food and Barcelos, the South African Casual dining eatery, each have communicated the right ingredients of decor and design at their outlets.
Taco Bell, the Mexican restaurant which opened its first outlet at Ambience Mall, New Delhi, has a contemporary design inspired by its Mexican-style cuisine and the brand’s California-based heritage. “The outlet depicts an urban fresh look which brings to life the brand’s belief in freshness and made-to-order food which can be seen from the open kitchen,” shared Ankush Tuli, General Manager, Taco Bell & CFO, Yum Restaurants India.
The 75-seater Delhi restaurant has a vast variety on the menu with international classics like Crunchy Taco Supreme, Crunch wrap and Burritos as well as the Kathitto which has been developed especially for India, to suit the local palate.
Commenting on the same, Gaurav Burman, Director, Burman Hospitality Private Limited, which holds the master franchisee for the restaurant in north of India said, “Our sincere aim is to deliver an outstanding dining experience that couples exciting food with an inviting atmosphere all at an immensely affordable price.”
Meanwhile, Wendy’s, the Californian burger chain which opened its first outlet in May 2015 at sector 29, Gurgaon has chosen a different model to serve to the demanding Indian taste. The restaurant chain designed in a casual dining atmosphere has opted for table service while delivering food to the customers.
“We’ve worked hard to create an ambience which is seen a notch above what the market has seen so far from QSRs. We’ve focused on things like different seating formats, the music we play, lighting etc to ensure we offer a better food experience. We serve our food in proper crockery along with table service and all our food is cooked only when you order it. So, there are several differentiators which will make us stand out,” believed Sanjay Chhabra, Director, Wendy’s, India.
Likewise, Barcelos, which is also operating under casual dining theme, has opted for a Portuguese theme after a town in Portugal with the same name. The interiors and designs of the restaurant reflect the Portuguese way of living and dining.
“We have focused on the modern and antique art for the interior of the restaurant. The Portugal influence can be seen through the paintings and antiques of the restaurant,” pointed Rohit Malhotra, GM - Operations, Barcelos India.
The chain which has kept the global design in its first outlet is also looking for more rustic and modern design for its next outlet. Located in an area of around 2000 sq ft, the restaurant gives a cosy and comfortable experience to its customers. “I believe that 25 per cent to 30 per cent contribution to the restaurant business come from a restaurant’s interiors and its ambience,” added Malhotra.
Hence, we can see that it is the enjoyment of ambience and interior designs which forms the backdrop in which the restaurants serve food and fulfil the appetite of their customers.