What is making start-ups enter into food segment?
What is making start-ups enter into food segment?

Today, a lot of things are happening in the Indian F&B segment in terms of new restaurants opening up, innovation in products/services, online food start-ups and night delivery food options.

These days, restaurants and food companies are focusing on delivering a world-class product. The reception they give to their customer is honestly worth all the effort. As the industry is growing, the restaurateurs are more driven to constantly improve their products and services with less room for error.

Emerging players in the segment

Over the years, we have seen restaurant industry booming with new brands coming in and old brands introducing something new playing with their menu. India's organised food services market is expected to grow by 16 per cent over the next five years and touch $28 billion on the back of changing consumption habits of consumers and emergence of new players in the sector.

According to the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the size of the total market (organised and unorganised) is $13 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $78 billion by 2018.

Year 2013-2014 has seen start-ups like Chaayos, 4700 BC Popcorn, Torrp-It-Up, Joost Juice, Juice Up, Go Panda and The Corner Courtyard amongst other making an effort to mark their presence in the $13 billion Indian market. These restaurants have introduced healthy, global cuisine plugging the effective marketing strategies to tap the fast growing Indian food service market.

The Corner Courtyard, which started its operation in 2013 in Kolkata by food enthusiast Megha Agarwal who left her job at PwC as consultant to start a venture of her own is trying to reinvent the eras of 1980’s by creating an encouraging and appreciative design that takes you to a strong heritage and a character derived from 110 year old colonial era restored Bungalow. The restaurant has uniquely designed food and the uniquely themed guest rooms.

“Our culinary experiments combine European and local flavours and an enthusiastic young team which takes customers’ feedback very seriously,” says Megha.

Meanwhile, not only food enthusiasts but real estate developers are also finding the restaurant business very exciting. Prateek Mittal, Owner, Mittal Industries has started a restaurant Torrp-It-Up serving to the fast moving Indian customer starting a QSR venture.

“Food is my passion. Experimenting with new flavours and trying different cuisines was something that always managed to capture my interest. Even though I had a strong inclination towards real estate, I knew that food industry is the ultimate destination for me,” shares Mittal.

Driving forces

As we see that Indian customer has become more demanding and experimental with time, they no more restrict themselves to the traditional cuisines. Today, they want to try something new and unique. Chalking the customers’ mind, young entrepreneurs have read their mind and have come up with different models that are ruling the industry today.

During last two years, we have seen global QSR chains entering the Indian market. This has created a force in Indian start-up segment by creating an Indian QSR. Go Panda, a young initiative owned by three partners who have some hospitality background is catering to the QSR customers as they feel that there is much more to experiment in this sector and hence, started a QSR with a fine dine experience serving Pan-Asian cuisine.

Not only this, many midnight food deliveries and online food tech have also taken a leap in the restaurant industry. We have seen many IITians and techpreneurs leading these start-ups.

FRSH, which serves freshly made foods and salads, especially to the office goers in Gurgaon, was started by an IITian Badal Goel. Goel soon realised that there were not much fresh food options available in the market and hence, people have to rely on junk foods.

Thus, trendy and quick service kaiten, with a view to give the best experience to Indian customers by staying true to serving fresh food in a fun-filled environment, are making food start-ups venture into the affordable and quality segment.

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