The Indian food service industry is a constantly transforming, vast market. This transformation not only reiterates the boom in business but also how our food habits are changing. From home-cooked meals to the ordering in culture, it has all been instrumental in widening this market.

There are new stand-alone restaurants, casual cafes and restaurant chain outlets opening up almost every week in metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Take for instance the Social chain of restaurants that started in Delhi and now have several outlets across India. Their expansion strategy was simple and in tune with their restaurant’s popularity that was only increasing.

The industry has seen exceptional growth in the last decade with millions being invested in restaurant businesses every year. But how does one business differentiate from the other? There are several factors that are to be considered such as people’s taste preferences, inclination to experiment with offbeat cuisine, willingness to spend on dining outside and the overall food and service offered by the outlet.

The target audience

The growth of the food service industry can be directly attributed to the increasing number of youth who are interested in new experiences. Another dominating factor is the increase in disposable income which allows people to spend on luxuries like eating out.

The trends

With the increase in food delivery apps and quick service restaurants, the emerging trend of easy-to-eat, comfort food is clear. But people have also shown interest in trying out offbeat dishes such as Japanese sushi or Cantonese Peking duck. The café culture is also taking over as people prefer to sit in a cozy environment with a cup of coffee, enjoying a good conversation. In fact, free WiFi has become a defining factor in the popularity of a café as many freelancers and travelers are always in the need of internet connectivity.

Importance of research

There are several restaurants and cafes that are launched with great fanfare but fail to attract customers. The inability to break even and make profits forces them to close doors within a few months of launching which is why an appropriate, research-oriented business plan is essential.

From zeroing in on the cuisine to deciding the décor theme and fixing up a menu, it all needs to be aligned with the consumer’s wants, needs, and desires. But for every establishment and investor to spend thousand on appropriate market research is added expenditure that may not yield fruitful results. This is where the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) comes in. The NRAI India Food Services Report 2019 (NRAI IFSR 2019) is a well-researched, comprehensive tool that helps restaurant businesses maximize their resources. The voice of the Indian restaurant industry, NRAI brings out the IFSR by interacting with over 130 restaurant CEOs and 3500 consumers across 24 Indian cities. Releasing today, the NRAI India Food Services Report 2019 highlights the key industry trends, interesting facts about what consumers prefer, important data on what millennials like to eat and how the online food delivery services have grown amongst others.

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