India continues to be the ‘land of promise’ for the food service industry. It is one of the most vibrant service industries. Although predominantly unorganised, with the advent of foreign and Indian restaurant chains, the organised market is likely to expand quite rapidly.
The major problem that is hindering the growth of the industry is obtaining of requisite licences and different policies for different states. To help restaurateurs grow their business, National Restaurant Association of India is taking every possible step to aid the ease of doing in India.
According to President, NRAI, Rahul Singh, “We are meeting largest of stakeholders like Government to aid ease of doing business in India. Being in the restaurant industry, we do not have issues which are central in nature, we deal with certain state level bodies. So, any central body which aids in ease of doing business like FSSAI and GST we deal with them, however, on state level every city has a different chapter head of NRAI. We want the ease of doing for the restaurant sector but the only way it works is having dialogues with various agencies.”
“Over the time, we have won many battles like the issue over MRP where the restaurants have got the permission to add service charges to the MRP. Another example is that earlier bikers delivering food were not recognised under the Ministry of transport and now that has also got approved,” he adds.
Changing Food Service Scenario
Food Service scenario changing rapidly as the consumer demand is increasing. The industry has grown by 10 percent in a year’s time.
“The propensity to eating out has increased manifold and going forward it is only going to increase. And hopefully, when the pie share of the industry will increase government will automatically start recognising us a sector,” reveals Singh.
Going forward, we can see ease of doing business, more investments in the sector, industry getting organised and restaurant chains gaining more consumer confidence,” he adds.
Food-tech Companies – Enabler or Disabler?
Many food-tech companies like Swiggy, Zomato, foodpanda are delivering the food to the areas where the urge to eating out was less. These companies have also helped in developing the taste for various cuisines.
“I consider food-tech companies as an enabler as what they are doing is addressing the consumer need of convenience. What they are doing is increasing the possibility of people not eating home cooked food and that is where foodservice comes in and restaurants are part of foodservice,” he concludes.