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Marketing 08 Aug 2017

When Eating Out is Driven by Convenience

It started about 19 years ago when the QSR format took off in India with the arrival of McDonald's in 1996. Many global brands followed suit since then, either through company-owned stores or the franchisee model or a mix of both. And, the segment taught I...

By Charu Sharma Feature Writer

Gone are the days when customer used to wait in a queue to enjoy lip smacking delicacies at his favourite restaurant. Customer looks at convenience now a days and restaurateurs need to be smarter to please them. About 50 per cent of India's population eats out at least once in every three months and eight times in every month in bustling metros as compared to the US (14 times), Brazil (11 times), Thailand (10 times) and China (9 times)Says a recent data by ASSOCHAM. And, as this is driven by convenience, the QSR segment is expected to witness increased activity. Customers are sold on convenience and if a customer could get grocery on his doorsteps then it is quite obvious for him to demand food on his couch as well. This convenience trend has many customers who do not want to leave the comfort of their home; they now want restaurants to deliver food to them. In this changing trend, QSRs are brainstorming to deliver fast to please customer in every possible manner.

How it all Began!

It started about 19 years ago when the QSR format took off in India with the arrival of McDonald's in 1996. Many global brands followed suit since then, either through company-owned stores or the franchisee model or a mix of both. And, the segment taught India the art of convenience dining and easy to grab meals. Customers are aware of the fact that food delivery has become essential today. Customer would prefer that chunk of delight at his home summed up with all the luxuries rather than at the nearest restaurant vouching for his preferred meal.

“Around 15 years back when multinational QSR formats like, KFC, Dominos, Mc Donalds entered into Indian food industry they were more of aspirational brands to India. They have never seen those brands and also there was an increase in income at that time so people started liking sitting there and enjoy. Now these aspirational brands have become commodity brands because they are more known for a quick bite and they are less expensive. Delivery and take away are becoming new trend in QSRs as 80 per cent business in QSR belongs to delivery and take away only,” says Sandeep Singh, CEO at Papa John’s.

The quick service restaurants (QSR) sector in India is likely to grow three-fold to Rs 25,000 crore within five years, says industry body Assocham. The country's QSR market, estimated to be at Rs 8,500 crore currently, is growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 per cent, it said. Entry of various national and international players in the QSR space has significantly widened the chain market due to fast expanding middle class, urbanisation, youth spending, nuclear families and better logistics, the analysis showed. At the city level, a large share of the QSR market rests in metros and mini metros due to higher consumption, heightened consumer awareness, and exposure in key cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The chain space is marked by the presence of more than 120 brands with more than 4,000 outlets spread across various cities in India.

Things have changed over the period of time, now people are smart and convenience friendly. They know what they want and they do not want to compromise because they have options. They are spoiled for choices and QSR segment is spoiling them for choices. QSRs on one hand are providing them convenience and on the other hand they are not at all expensive. 

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