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INTERVIEW

Year 2020 will see revolution in restaurant industry in terms of ideas
Monday, 17 April, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]

Hotel Marine Plaza has three restaurants - The Oriental Blossom (a Chinese restaurant), The Bayview (a 24-hour dining restaurant, which provides patrons with a view of the Arabian Sea while they indulge in a buffet) and Geoffrey’s (an English bar). In an e-mail interaction with Anurag More, Parvez Shaikh, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, spoke about the Indian restaurant business.

How do you see restaurant industry by 2020?
The year 2020 will see a revolution in restaurant industry, in terms of innovative ideas, a different style of service and an international look in terms of ambience. Patrons will be able to access the menus on their mobiles and witness their meals being prepared and presented in state-of-the-art kitchens. There will be a live kitchen concept. Guests will be able to prepare their own meals under the guidance of the chefs. By 2020, the number of youngsters or people in their twenties frequenting fine dining and traditional restaurants, rather than cooking at home, will increase, with their fast-paced lifestyles leaving them no time to cook.

What are the constant challenges the restaurant sector faces?
Competition is the major challenge that every restaurant faces. Apart from that, there are the regular challenges, like attrition, the shortage of a skilled workforce, pricing and taxation by the government.

What are the restaurant sector’s revenue-enhancing strategies?
Restaurants carry out tactical promotions (for instance, exotic vegetables or a particular ingredient which is unique and unknown in the market) or invite artisan chefs to create and develop their own recipes and styles of presentation, which attracts guests. Offers such as buy one get one free, discounts, loyalty programmes and cards providing incentives to customers play an important role. Keeping the customer mix of a particular restaurant intact through the database of their guests is a great help for the enhancement.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the restaurant industry?
The international brands, with their concepts, have created a buzz for the people of India to experience cuisines which are globally accepted and appreciated. Secondly, our own Indian cuisines has evolved to compete with the international brands, therefore you find everything from a thali to a buffet to street food. There are interactive kitchens, where Indian cuisine is prepared. These play a vital role in changing and achieving the authenticity and the legacy of the food.

Tell us about some of the innovations that you have introduced at your restaurants.

Our innovations include pizza served in a hot stone plate, a special kids’ menu for those aged between three and five, the concept of your dishes and drinks your way (the guests cook and make their own drinks under the guidance of the chefs and bartender) and personalised training by experts from the industry on a monthly basis to various level of staff.

What, according to you, are the trickiest issues to tackle currently in the Indian hospitality/food service industry?


The major issues in the hospitality industry are getting experienced staff, fixing the prices of commodities, taxation and, of course, competition.

Please comment on how food trends have changed over a period of time in India.

Since our citizens are travelling all over the world, their preferences have slightly changed towards the cuisines they sampled during their trips overseas. Hence they expect changes in the Indian restaurant industry. To encounter this, all metropolitan cities have popular standalone restaurants and popular restaurant chains have their outlets in five-star hotels. These help to cater and change the tastes and experiences of our society. The major role in our authentic cuisine, in terms of changes, is to be seen and experienced by the guest through customised menus. Grandmother’s recipes is another trend generating an overwhelming response.
 
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