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Expansion 05 May 2017

Are regulations killing Indian restaurants to match global standards

For a sector which is very vibrant and charismatic do you think that regulations are sort of paying the sector down?

By Nusra Sub Editor

Restaurant industry has become very vibrant and charismatic in last few years with growing market trends and a global lifestyle. At a time when the industry has got lots of potential to grow the restaurant owners are still trying to figure out who their customers’ are? What kind of concept is rocking the industry? What is the average duration spent by the customers’? What element should they keep in mind before designing the outlets? And the list goes on.

Restaurant as an industry which contributes lots in the development of a city making it liveable for the occupants has many legal clichés and over regulations on the sector which is killing the growth. Looking at the global market, cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Vegas, and London which are one of the top most visited cities globally has an exciting restaurant and nightlife scenario which is attracting the global masses. “Restaurants are very important part of the infrastructure of the city. Places like Dubai Mall alone see 100 million people every year. And, only 8 million people come to India which also includes people who come from Nepal,” shares Riyaaz Amlani, Restaurateur and President- NRAI who is working hard to build a nightlife and restaurant story line adding that restaurant and nightlife is actually the face, personality of a city.

For a sector which is very vibrant and charismatic do you think that regulations are sort of paying the sector down? Do you think at some point in time a stronger lobby needs to be formed with the government because new rules are announced daily which is very detrimental for the success of a restaurant? Food hubs like CyberHub became a high way destination with announcements like liquors couldn’t be served which is very dangerous for the industry. In Delhi there is new law where all restaurants will allow their toilets to be used by everybody for a payment of Rs 5. Such kind of regulations is really creating hindrance for the restaurant industry. The main problem is that restaurants as a sector is highly fragmented industry. Today, the industry needs a representation and a voice. “If you want talent to come and live in your city the most important thing is the restaurant,” shares Amlani adding that right now the problem is we have got 36 different licenses just to sell a sandwich.

Restaurant industry is currently a 3 lakh crore business which is growing at the pace of about 10 per cent year on year and is seven times the size of hotel business. So, the number is huge and the opportunity is huge. In mega metros such as Mumbai and Delhi the average eating out by its customers’ is 4 times in a month. Cities like Singapore are eating out 55 times a month. So, if you look at there is phenomenal headroom available for growth. So, the industry is just getting started. Over seven hundred and one million people are below the age of 30 and every year many people get added to the dining out customer base. So, if the dining out frequency goes to eight or nine from four and you multiply that by the population who are your restaurants customers’ base you are looking at phenomenal growth.

"Growth is unquestionable and there is tremendous opportunity and the restaurant owners are still looking at the tip of the icebergs. A lot can be done; a lot has to be done," points Amlani. Restaurants go very long way in making their city liveable. Restaurants hold the community and entire infrastructure together. Hence, we really need to build that.

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