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Expansion 07 Sep 2017

How Restaurants are Betting Big on 'Fun' Element

And as customers are getting much more choosy and experienced serious restaurateurs try not to replicate.

By Nusra Sub Editor

At a time when people are looking at an experienced dining restaurant owners and chefs are playing hard to get the best at their doors. It’s the customer who dictates the food today. From a place that was known only for its food they are trying to create a space that has got all the fun in it. “For a guest fun dining is essentially a 60 or 120 minutes vacation. You go out to a restaurant or a bar and you want an overall great experience and it’s like a mini holiday. I think the whole bucket what constitutes value, fun, experience has to be accessed,” believes Ashish Kapur, Co-Founder & MD, Moods Hospitality which runs some of the quirkiest concepts like Whisky Samba, The Wine Company, Antares and Yo! China to name a few.

And as customers are getting much more choosy and experienced serious restaurateurs try not to replicate but try and stand out by guessing on the aspiration value of the diners. Also, since there is lots of competition and option available in the market at the price low as low the big challenge in the restaurant and bar business is how do these restaurant owners and chefs reconstitute the business of fun every year because the Indian consumer is moving so fast that what is relevant as fun today may not be relevant as fun tomorrow. “Nine years ago when we conceptualized Mamagoto we found that there was no Asian cafe in the market what was available was Pizza and pasta. It was either at the hotel or at a restaurant which has lanterns. We felt that there was an opportunity in the market for a place which is casual, affordable, and accessible and then create a food which went along with it. We tried to get the food out of a formal atmosphere and put it into fun atmosphere,” points Kabir Suri, Co-Founder & Director, Azure Hospitality.

The Winning Dining Strategy

These days’ restaurant works on a winning dining-experience strategy that attracts the Millennial demographic to their restaurant. Places like airport lounges and hospitals which were never considered as a dining location is turning out to be good food destinations to introduce the unexpected experience in the dining out scenario. “Lounges were never considered an F&B Place because nobody used to consider it as a fun space. What we did that we wanted to have airports an unexpected F&B experiences and we changed the whole dining scenario. When we started it was 1000 people coming a day. Today it is 5000 a day,” shares Varun Kapur, ED, K Hospitality Corp which runs airport lounges. So, it’s all about going out, doing things which people do not expect as they love unexpected things. It’s creating something which is little bit out of the ordinary.

Adding to the same lines, Varun Tuli, Founder, Yum Yum Cha adds, “We approached the idea of Yum Yum Cha little differently. We had a fun dining area, a fine dining area and a bar. The idea was to bring a place where you can come into shorts, there is a line of people outside and you don’t want to care about anything. You want to sit, have a quick meal and go away. With Yum Yum Cha we looked at that aspect. We really focused that you can eat these foods every single day. But when you eat these foods every day you really need to change how the food is to be served. We let the person eat what they want.”

Hence, we can say that it’s all about innovation, experience, reinvention and fun at restaurants these days. And, this trend is not only hitting the Indian market but globally people are searching for fun element in their dining. Akmal Anuar who runs 3 Fils restaurants in Dubai adds, “People label fine dining as a big hole in the pocket after you leave the restaurant. Dubai is a very tough market and is constantly changing. People do not understand what they want and Instagram is so powerful these days that it influences people. So, you keep reinventing, moving and innovating. We constantly change, we constantly reinvent and that’s the key to running a restaurant these days.” 

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