Dining Cum Retail formats are a new concept in India’s foodscape as the market opens up to newer, fresher products and ingredients, enabling restaurateurs to offer fine dine experiences along with greater diversity in food preparations, besides keeping wastage and inventory costs under control.
The past 10 years or more have seen the trend of consuming gourmet food picking up like no other food trends in India. Earlier, the concept of fine dine was prevalent and confined to 5-star hotels only. But once restaurateurs and chefs started opening their own stand-alone restaurants, they reached out to the masses hungry for fine food with their international cuisines based on exotic ingredients.
With increased exposure to international cultures and cuisines came demand, and importers began to source and supply the most exotic ingredients from across the globe. As a result, in just 5 years, the Indian gourmet retail space has grown manifold. According to a report, its current size is Rs 6,500 crore, and growing at a CAGR of 20 percent, and expected to cross Rs 13,700 crore by 2015.
Apart from a number of rapidly expanding specialty stores, namely, Godrej Nature’s Basket, Foodhall, Le Marche, etc, selling gourmet products, many restaurants are cashing on this demand by opening retail sections within their fine dine premises. So while at one end, the consumer has a full-fledged dining space, at the other, he can avail of a retail space selling some, if not all, of the items used to create the fine food being served at the restaurant or vice versa, that is, he can pick the ingredients for the dishes he fancies and the chef will prepare them.
The format of combining a dining space with retail is here to stay.The next five years are going to be very exciting, especially with the customer continuing to be choosy and experimental. The food scenario in India has changed within just two years; today, customers don’t have to think twice before spending on quality products and foods. And indeed, with the food retail cum dining scenario continuing to grow in a positive sphere, predicts that the market will open up to newer, fresher products and ingredients, and in turn making it less of a struggle for restaurateurs to find interesting ingredients, increasing the diversity of food; and keeping costs under control..