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Investment 25 Sep 2017

Guest Satisfaction: Beyond Innovation and the Big Idea

It’s pretty much a given fact that a good restaurant serves good food.

By Chef Om Nayak The Pasta Bowl Company

India’s food and service industry is rapidly growing due to the changing demographics, increasing number of well exposed and global travellers, and rise in disposable income. The Indian dining scenario is witnessing a drastic change from suitability of taste to complete dining experience. Customers are now looking for new experiences with satisfaction at par and a long term commitment for quality food.

With the rise of Start-up India, the food service industry has seen a huge number of new entrants with innovations and big ideas. Unfortunately, even with the best of innovative concepts and powerful teams, the failure rate is going up. According to a frequently cited study by Ohio State University on failed restaurants, 60% do not make it past the first year, and 80% go under in five years.

It’s pretty much a given fact that a good restaurant serves good food. The need of the hour is to understand the key factors and challenges which are reposonsible for the deterioration of the success rate of start-up restaurants in the country. Certainly, innovation cannot be ignored but the key ingredients of the growth recipe lies in detailing of every aspect whether it is the quality of food, atmosphere, service or overall experience. A majority of the start-ups and even the established ones in a longer run fails to understand the significance of total guest satisfaction and consistent food quality. This primary objective of a successful restaurant business becomes more critical when you are expanding.

As an avid traveller I have travelled across the world and amazed by the vibrancy of different food cultures across the globe. Every culture has its own story and influence. A lot can be learnt from these cultures. From socialising to gatherings and celebrations, food is the binding force and need to be accompanied with memorable experiences. Today’s Diner Community is well exposed and is not willing to give second chance for impressions. If you are not able to impress them in first go you are out of the game. These first impressions lead to repeat customership which is the life line of the business. Above all the consistency of this impression and the focus to take it to next level with every diner determines the long term success in the restaurant business.

The quality and authenticity of ingredients also plays a vital role in ensuring guest satisfaction. Today people are very concerned and care a lot about what is there in their food and this trend is catching pace across the world. The appetite for dishes with fresh and authentic ingredients is growing. The National Restaurant Association identified “Authentic Ethnic Cuisine” as being in the Top 20 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast. Indian Diners are now appreciating authentic cuisines of different parts of the world. Also the right awareness of your concept and the cuisine you serve has a vital role in establishing the recall. Explaining the food you serve is an essential part of ensuring Guest Satisfaction especially when you claim to offer Authentic Cuisine.

Comfort is another critical factor which makes a restaurant great. Restaurateurs must pay attention to details so as to create a comfortable dining experience matching the culture and cuisine. A lot of focus on staff training and education is required to maintain the satisfaction level of diners. Exposure to the authentic food and culture is an essential part of staff training.

The growing youth population of the country along with other generation diners are ready to dine out and experiment with new culinary experiences. Thanks to the global exposure, digital revolution, disruptive technologies and budding breed of passionate talents that the Restaurant Business in India is presenting a plethora of growth opportunities. The secret key to this Pandora box of opportunities and fascinating business avenues is the focus on Guest Satisfaction. With this one mission and one vision, Restaurateurs in India can make a mark on the global stage assuring higher success index.

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