More QSR brands must emerge to leverage cloud kitchen investments, aggregator costs


Experts deliberate the food service future in post pandemic era at Phygital Retail Convention

Mumbai, November 11, 2021: More QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) and fine dining brands should emerge from the same cloud kitchen to enable food service providers leverage the aggregators costs like Zomato or Swiggy, according to industry experts, Thursday.

The aggregators cost is 20% and more and hence the investments made in cloud kitchen can be leveraged by promoting multiple restaurant brands from the same cloud kitchen, said Anurag Katriar, Executive Director & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality and President, NRAI on the second day session on Retail Strategy of the two-day Phygital Retail Convention 2021.

“Calling in for food is not the last option now but it is the preferred option,” said Katriar.

Pandemic had made the consumer to naturally order online. But globally, 50-60 meals are ordered online while in India it is 5-6 meals a month, Katriar said.

“COVID 19 pandemic led to existential questions for the QSR industry. It gave their business a temporary pause but customers are now back. We were having just 20% orders compared to previous quarters during the lockdown but now we are having more than 7 lakh orders per month,” said Sagar Daryani, Co-founder and CEO, Wow! Momo, that shut down 40-odd outlets but added 86 new stores during pandemic.

Before the pandemic broke out, the Indian food service and restaurant industry two years back was estimated at Rs 4.1 trillion of which the organised space and unorganised space accounted for Rs 1.6 trillion and Rs 2.5 trillion, respectively.

Indian QSR market has over 100 brands with more than 7,000 outlets across the country and has attracted a lot of investments in the sector, industry sources said.

According to Mr. Raghav Verma, Co-Founder, Chaayos, “The pandemic is ongoing and shopping is not going to come to an end, brands will adopt higher technology as a move towards convenience, consumers will prefer take away and will be more careful about health and safety  so, bigger brands will have an edge as oppose to local concepts.”

Anurag Katriar, ED & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality & President of NRAI said, “Covid is like a journey, you cannot fight the pandemic unless consumers are aligned to protocols they need to follow, we have learnt to live with covid.  India is operating with 50% capacity, people are coming back, weekly consumption is going up.”

Mr. Ankit Patel, CEO, Belgian Waffle Co. said, “The pandemic break gave us an opportunity to go back to the boardroom and brainstorm on understanding as to how they can give crunchy waffles delivered to their homes, hence they changed the recipe, packaging so that their consumers do not get softer Waffles by the time it is delivered to their homes.”

Contactless dining and deliveries will remain post-pandemic, but the discretionary consumption has already recovered and QSRs are the first and major beneficiaries from it, experts said.