Why Airports A Hot Venue for Restaurant Brands
Why Airports A Hot Venue for Restaurant Brands

Restaurant joints are a major crowd puller in India. Locations like malls and high streets are already an old age destination as brands are eyeing non-traditional locations like airports, highways and hospitals as major crowd puller. Also, Airport Authorities are very watchful when it comes to choosing the brand. They have highest filtration of brands and choose the brand only when the brand meets out their list of criteria like perception of the brand acceptability, food quality, safety measures, turnover, cleanliness, hygiene, etc.  To get a clear view of the same, let us peep into the opportunities being explored by the food giants to boost their businesses by entering the some of the top airport locations in the country.

Grabbing on the Go

Airports are captive markets for restaurants and retail players these days. Moreover airports with high spend passengers turn out to be good retail destinations giving brands back the right return. However, the requirements can even vary from one venue to the other depending on the city and country. “Before we open at any location, we do an extensive recee of the location. Basis the recee we finalise the menu of the respective outlet which is completely in relation to the kind of target audience, area and even the feasibility in operations for the location. For airports, we generally try and keep quick bites, dishes that do not take very long to digest, we even keep in mind what all dishes can be easily put into a take away box,” said Vikrant Batra of Cafe Delhi Heights which is doing around 600-800 customers per day.

Similarly, brands which offers easy to grab meals and snack options like tea cafes, bakeries and QSR giants have seen more business from the customers’ at the airport. “Assured footfall, great brand visibility and great margins makes airport a great location,” points Pankaj Judge, Co-Founder at Chai Thela which is doing 300 to 400 bills a day.

Why Airport?

In today’s retail scenario, location does play a key role in terms of being a catchment driving footfall. Today, restaurants are looking for the unexplored locations which were being neglected earlier but such locations are very relevant to get the right business done as it offers great consumer base. Airports are the biggest window of opportunity for the clientele. It’s the best place to tap in international footfalls. When it comes to the airport, it is one such venue where restaurant owners witness escalating spending power of the flyers. These days an airport is not just a place to board a flight but it has become a place for an overall experience. Due to traffic people like to come in a little early hence flyers like to eat, shop and even go for a spa at the airport. Therefore it has now become an overall experience. And to fulfil this gap, brands like Subway, Café Coffee Day, Bikanervala, Joost Juice, Sagar Ratna, Pizza Hut, Lite Bite Foods, Cafe Delhi Heights and Irish House to name a few have opened their outlets at these locations targeting the never ending clientele this venue is creating for them.  “Airports are captive markets. It turns out to be that such markets are better. Moreover airports with high spend passengers turn out to be good retail destinations,” shared Sharad Sachdeva, COO, Lite Bite Foods.

Captivating Growth

Going by the changing trend, major chains are targeting these locations as these locations give them a good amount of business in return. Airport locations offer a compelling business strategy, reaching new customers and expanding their franchisee network, courtesy of a captive, convenience-friendly audience. “While being at the airport, the time span is usually limited wherein consumers are looking out for a convenient option to fulfil hunger pangs. For a consumer travelling to make for an early 10:00am meeting to a consumer who is heading back after a long tiring travel expedition who is in need of a quick snack , limited service brand play an important role in addressing such needs,” added Raghunandan Dole, COO Lite Bite Travel Foods & CFO Lite Bite Foods.

These brand with limited product offerings and having minimal space and equipment requirement for its operation, a concept convenient for all its stores particularly those at airport locations. These locations form an integral part of overall growth and development strategy and have been a large contributor in the consecutive positive growth of the brand.

Way ahead

Unlike other locations, where the promotion strategy is based on pull marketing and generating footfalls, these locations are primarily dependant on Catchment Marketing. The footfall is already present and thus the promotion strategy of these locations is designed to ensure maximum visibility in the catchment for the audience to be aware of the location and with time becoming the preferred food partner of that catchment. Travel has been on the rise on both professional and personal front. In today's busy schedule, and keeping pace with the changing times, consumers are keen on doing a lot simultaneously, making Airports, one of the most promising sectors for retail development.  “It is a good retail destination for most brands which focus on quality delivery. Every company has to go through a very competitive bidding process and only with best practices can qualify to be successful bidders,” concluded Sachdeva.

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