NRAI Hyderabad Chapter sees active participation and insightful discussions at the Restaurant Conclave

Mr Shaaz Mehmood, Founder of NRAI, Hyderabad Chapter & Member, MC, NRAI- National; lighting the lamp at the inauguration of India’s Largest Restaurant Industry Conclave, The NRAI Indian Restaurant Conclave 2022 at HICC, today; as (L-R) Mr Shankar Krishnamurthy, Hyderabad Chapter Head, NRAI; Mr Sampath Tummala, Co-chapter Head, NRAI, Hyderabad; Shri Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary – l & C & IT, Govt. of Telangana; look on.

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) recently concluded its AGM and The Indian Restaurant Conclave 2022 (TIRC) at HICC in Hyderabad. Pivoting on this large-scale event, the state of Telangana successfully secured an investment commitment of almost INR 500 crore in a single day. The event also witnessed the launch of a single window application for the food service sector, the TS-iPASS portal by the Telangana government.

Some of the key investments for the state came from Wow Momo (INR 50cr), Olive Bar and Kitchen, (INR 30cr), McDonald’s (INR 100cr), Impresario Group (INR 30cr), PH4 Food and Beverages (INR 10cr), Almond House (INR 67cr), Chubby Cho (INR 20cr), Alive Hyderabad (INR 30cr), Chaayos (INR 40cr), Farzi Café (INR 20cr), Azure Hospitality (INR20cr) and Barbeque Nation (INR 50cr) etc.

The Hyderabad Chapter of NRAI has played a significant role in increasing the ease of doing business (EoDB) in the state. The TS-iPASS portal which was launched at the event will ensure streamlining of licenses and faster processing through a single window and enhance the region’s ease of doing business to a window of 15 days which was earlier 8 months.

The event also saw insightful panel discussions which are relevant to the industry at this point and time. A discussion on identifying the top 30 destinations in India for F&B business, witnessed several important points being raised by the panellists. The panellists included Rahul Agarwal, CEO, of Barbeque Nation, Gautam Gupta MD & CEO, Paradise Biryani, Sagar Daryani, Co-Founder & CEO, Wow Momo, Riyaz Amlani, CEO and MD of Impresario Handmade Restaurants, and Raghav Joshi Co-founder, Rebel Foods.

According to Agarwal, in the next few decades, the demand would be similar across metro and non-metro cities. “Over the next six years, GDP is going to double, per capita income is also going to go up by three times. Which means that once there’s more money in the hands of people and the basic needs are taken care of, the discretionary spending will also come up and that is what we are seeing across the nation,” he added.

Stating that Tier-II & III would make the future of the F&B industry bright, Daryani said, “Real India is the Tier-II & III cities. The real juice is lying in these cities as the people are becoming aspirational and want to try new things. The positive thing is that the rent to revenue ratio is much lower, and due to that one can make profits. The most important thing is to identify the gap to open up the market share. So, I suggest that one should build their brands in Metro cities, grow there, operate in a single digit EBITDA, however, since the double-digit EBITDA will come from Tier-II & III cities, so he should think of expansion in those cities as well.”

According to Gupta, the strategy is different for different brands as in India there’s been a lot of dependence on socio-cultural regions to be the master of their own market. “As a biryani brand, our approach is to penetrate its own socio-cultural region market and then move from there, which is really extremely important. Also, the most important thing is to have a Hero product/Hero brand.”

Amlani said that the confidence in India has changed. “For the last two decades people consumed only westernised products and due to this we never really had a chance to consume our own product as a lifestyle. Now we may realise that the Indian palette is possibly the most sophisticated of all. What we need now is not disposable income but disposable time. In Tier- II, and III cities people have more disposable time and more disposable income due to the easier cost of living.”

Shaaz Mehmood, Founder of NRAI – Hyderabad Chapter & Member, MC, NRAI – National spoke about the importance of technology in the F&B industry. He stressed the importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in F&B and requested all the F&B business owners to focus on AI tools which will eventually help them to know and understand their customer better from the customer data which the business owners already have, from the POS, Loyalty cards and other sources. “That would be the next gen-ideate to be innovative for our industry. By doing so, we could get the digital DNA of the customer which could help the businesses to understand the customer better.” Mehmood also spoke about the impact of Metaverse in the F&B business.

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