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Casual & Fun

When India’s first Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF) opened in Delhi in 1996, it pioneered the beginning of the casual dining segment as was never before seen. It brought great food and beverages, friendly staff, and a fun-filled atmosphere, where families, friends, couples and singles are equally comfortable and can enjoy a pleasurable meal in complete relaxation. CEO Rohan Jetley discusses the future prospects of the casual dining segment with Seema Gupta
How can the up-selling and cross-selling opportunities be used more effectively in Casual Dining?
Strategically upselling adds to the APC (average price per cover) and can be used in casual dining since it has a variety of offerings to address value tiers. There are so many beverage brands in different price bands that the controls with the server are significant. This is possible if we have waiters who have the personality to sell. Cross selling helps to expand your reach by riding on some other brand and vice versa. It forms a cost-effective marketing tool directly catering to your target group.

What are the problems specific to casual dining?

We are in a critical period when infrastructure development has not matched the growth of dining out as an option, so while the dining out pie has grown, infrastructure development has not matched it to cater to that increase, and till current demand is not fulfilled future growth shall be sporadic and not steady. Solution lies in creating or ramping up the infrastructure with all amenities which will fuel growth of all the sectors. Trained hospitality professionals are also few to come by who are looking for a career in the restaurant sector. Most of the trained professionals prefer hotels or jobs abroad.

How has inflation impacted the casual dining segment? Does it draw patrons of fine dining or does it lose customers to the QSR?
The flow of patrons is both ways. We lose some to QSR and gain some from fine dining. But, overall, because of inflation, the whole industry suffers. Though perhaps the QSR suffers the least.

What are the promotional schemes at Casual Dining restaurants?

Instant gratification on buying promotional offers, discounts on specific days, loyalty programmes, buy one get one free offers, and gratification against an activity.

Casual, Quick Service or Fine Dining – which is set to out-pace the other? 
The fastest growing economic consumer profile in India is the middle class which caters to the QSRs and value driven casual dining institutions.