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entrepreneur 2016-10-06

We hope to have 200 Social restaurants by 2020: Riyaaz Amlani

The Indian food service report says that the Indian Food Service industry is projected to grow to Rs 4, 98, 130 cr by 2021.

We hope to have 200 Social restaurants by 2020: Riyaaz Amlani

Talking on the macro view of the Indian restaurant Industry and commenting on the recently released India Food Service Report, Riyaaz Amlani, President, NRAI spoke to Also, he divulges the future expansion plans of his Social Restaurants, which he is aiming to increase in number to 200 by 2020 from 42 at present. He also mentioned of the changing cycle of the industry from QSR to PCVR.

What is your take on recently released India Food Service Report by NRAI?
The Indian food service report says that the Indian Food Service industry is projected to grow to Rs 4, 98, 130 cr by 2021. I expect the industry to grow at the rate of about 10 percent YOY. The total food service market today stands at Rs 3,09,110 cr and has grown at 7.7 percent since our last report in 2013. This year alone, the Indian restaurant sector will create direct employment for 5.8 million people and contribute a whopping INR 22, 400 cr in form of taxes to the Indian economy.

What factors will drive the future growth of the restaurant industry?
The average Indian consumer currently eats out only four times a month, whereas internationally it is above 40 times and probably in Singapore it is about 55 times a month. There is a lot of head room for growth with the factors like rise of nuclear families and rising disposable income with double income families. Consumers have started looking at food as a convenience, as a celebration and something that is making life easier.

Food consumption in QSRs probably is reducing drastically, what could be the reason for that?
India is going through the cycle of growth in which certain brands are predicted to do well and some are going to move on. Earlier QSRs were doing well and now it is the casual dining segment that is going good, so it’s all about the growth. If we go five years back, it was completely a different story.

Currently Casual Dining Restaurants are really doing well. Also, the bar PVCL segment is growing fast at 20 percent.

What is the progress with ease of doing business to reduce the number of licences to be procured by the restaurants? Ease of doing business is haven’t yet trickled down well for the restaurant industry. The industry still remains one of the most over regulated and shackled maze of approvals and licenses required and high tax brackets. Around 67 percent of the industry in unorganised and the big reason for it is because it’s so difficult to get licences and to get on the grid, with a result of which lot of people prefer to do it in unorganised fashion. If the licensing conditions are eased, then the gap between organised and unorganised players will reduce by 10-15 percent.

So far we have seen many positive movements in the state of Maharashtra and Delhi. But, in certain cases like Karnataka, Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, we are witnessing a lot of regressive action from the regulators. Thus, we should constantly strive to make the licences easier and conditions better for our industry. It is about time that our industry’s socio-economic impact is recognised by the government, and it initiates immediate steps to unlock the true potential of this behemoth.

According to you how many Indian restaurants can reach global level?
I think Indian restaurants are already making a mark at the world stage. Till now, Indian food was not viewed as elegant or refined eating. The kind of depth and culinary breath that India has is truly world beating and we really know our way around food, spices and flavours and we have very sophisticated palates. So I think the next big thing is going to be the Indian food industry.

What is your take on food processing that can reduce wastages?
Food processing definitely can be a way to reduce wastage. One has to consider the effects of industrialisation of agriculture. But, I think to have small farmer, food processing is going to go a long way in making sure that they get better livelihood, access to better technology and capital.

Please tell us about your Social restaurants and the future plans?
Social is a casual rejuvenation space. It is also a collaborative work space where you can work throughout the day and in the evening you can let you hair down at the high energy bar. It is the space which is open for anyone and everyone and anytime of the day. You are guaranteed a good time the minute you enter Social.

What are the future plans?
So far we haven’t done any penetration in the Indian market. We have barely explored the surface of what the possibility and the potential of India has to offer. We have been growing at the rate of 50 percent YOY for the last four years and we hope to continue the growth for another five years. We have a total of 48 restaurants and we hope to get to 200 by 2020.

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