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INTERVIEW

Year 2020 would witness lot of positive changes in restobar industry
Monday, 24 April, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Anurag More

The United Sports Bar and Grill is beyond just a sports bar. It is a versatile watering hole where you can have a drink, catch up with friends, have a good meal and generally unwind. The vibrant food and drink menu ensures that there’s never a dearth of options to choose from. The lively environment warrants that you are always in good company.

At United, the focus is firmly on an exciting experience. In cities that are constantly craving for spaces where one can unwind after a long day, United is a versatile, much-needed modern hangout place. No matter whom you choose to celebrate a meal with, United is where you want to be for a good time!

Amit Jambotkar, vice-president, operations, Mirah Hospitality, in an e-mail interaction with Anurag More, spoke about the restobar business in India.

Brief us about the restobar business in India.
The restobar industry is a high-risk business proposition. There is cut-throat competition and a lot of detailing is required. Statistics reveal that 60 per cent of the businesses fail in the first year. As difficult that it might sound, it actually is also that easy, if you get the guru mantra right from day one, then there is no looking back.

While some industry leaders and marketing gurus might believe in five or seven Ps to success, I personally believe that there are 11 Ps to success – purpose, place, people, product, positioning, packaging, price, promotions, processes, presence (physical), and thus finally leading to the final P - profits (in that order).

How do you see the business by 2020?
The year 2020 is just four years away and if we have to judge what’s in store, the current trend, with concepts like Make in India, suggest rising income levels, affluence and a growing middle class.

One-third of the population in India will be living in urban areas by 2020, technological and social transformation will only accelerate.

With technology taking over, newer concepts being introduced, equipment getting advanced, kitchen build-out costs getting reduced, top chefs going casual, digital world replacing retail, liaisoning rules and regulations getting relaxed, quick-service chains adopting to the upscale decor of casual-dining competitors, establishments going green, the year 2020 would definitely witness a lot of positive changes in the overall restobar and the hospitality industry in India.

With the continued revolution of smartphones and tablets, restaurant patrons are already accustomed to reading menus online, they also will expect the ability to order, review and pay for their food from their handheld devices, and to sort the menu items according to nutritional values or prices.

Today’s restaurateurs are paying close attention to the spending habits of the consumers. They are not only maintaining databases, but are also coming out with innovative marketing ideas to tap these consumers. These consumers will be the most influential diners in 2020.

What trends you are witnessing in India for the business?
As consumers demand more locally-sourced food for environmental and health concerns, we expect the locally-sourced everything trend to bleed over.

Craft beer in cans will continue to trend, keeping in mind the fast-paced growth of the craft breweries. Increased online competition will push restobars to ramp up their mobile and online presence.

Point-of-sale tablet technology will also become inevitable, allowing guests to order and pay at the table along with access to games, entertainment and other online features.

Digital boards, quirky cocktails, comfort food, innovative presentations and pocket-friendly prices will surely contribute majorly to the trend too. Vegetarian food will also emerge as a leader.

What are the opportunities in the sector?
The restobar sector and the overall food and beverage industry in India has experienced immense growth, and is continually evolving in a dynamic way.

This is one of the key reasons that many global and foreign companies are shifting their focus on the Indian market.

Brands and chains of both Indian and multi-national company (MNC) brands are still less penetrated, and there exists a large opportunity in this space to create bigger restaurant chains.

The rise in social media platforms also provides brands with significant opportunities to proactively listen, understand and respond to their consumers’ opinions suggestions and interests.

What are the challenges faced by the sector?
The lack of quality infrastructure, the shortage of adequate skilled manpower, high real estate costs, too many dry days, licenses and multiple taxes are few of the challenges faced by the sector.

How is the sector coping up with the challenges?
Initiatives are being taken to simplify the licensing process further, and give it a one-window clearance. Initiatives like Make in India will certainly help in creating good infrastructure too.  

Please tell us about The United Sports Bar and Grill.
The United Sports Bar and Grill is beyond just a sports bar. Its a versatile watering hole where you can have a drink, catch up with friends, have a good meal and generally unwind.

There are giant screens that help you make the most of a game night. The vibrant food and drink menu ensures that there is never a dearth of options to choose from.

The lively environment warrants that you are always in good company. And the well-trained staff will make sure you are always comfortable.

What makes you different from others?
At United, the focus is firmly on an exciting experience. Whether it’s a game night or just another weeknight, there are always exciting offers, great vibes and swooning music to lighten up the mood.

In cities that are constantly craving for spaces where one can unwind after a long day, United is a versatile, much-needed modern hangout place.

No matter whom you choose to celebrate a meal with, United is where you want to be for a good time!

Brief us about your expansion plans.
We have been engaged in the process of consolidation and setting up of operations. Now that we are in place, we look forward to set up four more outlets in the next financial year.

How much will you be investing for the same?
At this point of time, we wouldn’t be in a position to disclose any details. However, having said that, we can discuss this at a later stage.
 
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