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Restaurants and the Changing Dynamics of Their Menus Transforming your customer experience means transforming your understanding of the people you serve

By Nitika Kapur

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In recent years, the restaurant industry has become more complex and busy space. There is a clear demarcation in consumer demographics i.e., there are consumers who are getting attracted towards the fancy ambience, exotic dishes and do not think twice paying a bomb and on the other side extremely price-sensitive ones seeking value for money products. Restaurant menu prices reflect the restaurant strategies and target demographic. Whether you run a busy diner, casual cafe, or upscale bistro, knowing how to price a menu for a restaurant is a must-have skill.

Most of the restaurants are likely to do some innovation with their menu in their pricing but struggling with setting the perfect price tag. If we may say so either they charging too much or too less for food. The best way to optimize a restaurant menu is to timely play with different variations of the same cuisine to attract more customers. It is really important to understand what your customer wants to eat and at the same time, it is also important to put the right price tag for the dishes depending on your target customer. Transforming your customer experience means transforming your understanding of the people you serve. If a restaurant is launched by creating hype around through various marketing tools and not focus on its service, product and customer experience then it may become a fad and will be short-lived, which is also the prime reason for the rapid growth of restaurant shut down.

One of the major reasons why QSRs, especially the company operated ones or franchise owned and company operated ones are successful is because they ensure the quality of the food and at the same time they focus on the quantity, pricing and customer experience with the same consistency all across. Consistent product/ service provides you with the trust of the customer and gives you an edge over other chains or stand-alone.

Factors About Changing Trends in the Restaurant Market

1. The changing diner demands and the accompanying new technologies bring extreme growth in the field of the restaurant industry. Restaurants are engaging with their customers digitally through digital apps or third-party service. This is an easy way to deliver the food on time and have an opportunity to grow in the restaurant industry. It ensures growth in customer data.

2. Nowadays consumers can order meals from multiple restaurants from a single app. Although it has a high logistics cost but ensures a smooth operation, and restaurants can manage to achieve margins of more than 30 per cent.

3. With an increase of more working couples and nuclear families and outgoing millennials, people tend to experiment more and loves to eat easy to cook a meal. Restaurants need to offer the products which are time-saving and also have a uniqueness of the product.

4. Social media also play a major factor which attracts the millennials. The restaurants need to be mindful, as the younger generation make their own decisions on service, music, food, and ambience. Restaurants need to adapt and modify their strategies to attract the younger audience.

The millennial trends have been changing now and they are constantly adapting and connecting for higher expectations, quality and quantity, in short, they are more exposed and more aware. The increases competition in the restaurant business has made consumers expect more which has now become complex and has turned into a multifaceted process. QSR chain, especially fine dine and casual dining are more focusing on their social media presence which increases the direct interaction with the customers. Most of the consumers spend more time on phones than ever before. Food chains are focusing on innovative ideas over the food concept. They are changing their food concept using different menu ideas, customising food preparation. Chains are using the concept of fresh and healthy eating- using a natural, high –quality, home-prepared meal for the millennial. Today the focus is on niche value such as quick delivery, free delivery, real-time tracking which is the new consumer demand. Most of the restaurants attract the customers by sending specialized dishes with branded hashtags or extra service feature.

The best thing about the hospitality industry is one can't predict what's coming next. These adoptions may sound immense were adopting these factors would differentiate the growing restaurant industry. But the restaurants should be cautious with too many changes as one might end up losing their values and identity. In the coming future Indian restaurant have the extensive potential for value addition, means it will be one of the most important destinations for food producers.

Nitika Kapur

CEO & Co-Founder of Nukkadwala

A design graduate from NIFT, New Delhi specializing in Product Designing has worked in Leather Export for 6 years until started own leather label by the name of Leather luxe. Leather Luxe (2009-2014) catered the retail and export industry with premium quality leather handcrafted hard goods and furniture of India, Singapore, and Dubai. 

Being a passionate cook with a strong understanding of ingredient I started working on my own recipe book in 2012 on the side with innovative dishes as well as authentic ones. In 2013 the opportunity of Nukkadwala came my way from Vatika group to design the menu and do the R&D for the same. I have travelled the length and breadth of the country in research and study of over 200 dishes. 

After one year of travel, we finalized the menu and processes and started Nukkadwala joined Vatika QSR Pvt. Ltd in 2014 officially as Product Development & Quality Assurance Head and later in 2017 post 10 outlets as CEO. 

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