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Aayush Agrawal

New age food-trepreneur, Aayush is founder and director of Wok Express, an up and coming 'premium and pocket friendly' Asian cuisine food chain based out of Mumbai

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About Our Feelings for Fast Served Food: Indians are Lovin’ It

Indians don’t need a reason to eat out any more with the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) culture settling in nice and comfy across the country

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In the past couple of years with rising per capita income and urbanization, Indian’s demand for various superior food products along with the urge for experimentation has led to necessitating a possible change in the food consumption pattern. Indians at no time need a reason or an extraordinary event to eat out.

According to a recent report launched by KPMG in association with FICCI on ‘India’s Food Service Industry: Growth Recipe’, the food service industry in India can broadly be classified into four major segments - full-service restaurants and Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) together account for around 73 percent, 14.6 percent of the pie is made up of street kiosk desks and the remaining 12.5 percent are bars and cafes. Within the unorganized segment, QSR is growing at an extremely fast pace. It is expected to grow faster than China at a CAGR of 19 percent till 2020. It is estimated that close to 530 million people will reside in urban areas by 2025, which will offer an attractive opportunity towards QSR chains. This segment is marked by the presence of 90 to 100 brands, both domestic and international chains who are constantly competing for a greater market share.

The consumer preference for QSRs has increased considerably, followed by casual dining restaurants. The standardization across food outlet chains in terms of ambience, hygiene, time to service and easy accessibility has generated instant interest in the mind of the consumers, leading to an increase in the overall footfall. Hence, to get a competitive edge and cater to the changing palates of the Indian consumers, most of the chains are modifying their offerings in terms of flavours, pricing and services.

In the midst of culinary development and an overall challenging industry, India is witnessing a rise in home grown brands in the QSR space who are playing an instrumental role in helping Indians warm up to western cuisines. While Indian cuisine still remains the most preferred choice in India, Chinese cuisine is gaining significant popularity, followed by South Indian, American and Italian. Seeing the immense potential in this segment, domestic brands are also on the lookout for funding from private equity players to establish a stronger foothold.

The new digital wave has seen a surge in food delivery apps in the form of aggregators and app based restaurants which are playing an important role in helping the QSR segment grow. The ease in ordering food and checking restaurants online has led to companies coming out with mobile apps. Now there are a number of players who are only virtually present and offer top quality customer service online. An upcoming trend in the recent times has been the advent of food trucks in this space. Moreover, new payment options in the form of mobile wallet companies are spurring this segment.

In spite of constant churning in FSSAI plans and Government regulations, the online food startups will continue to grow progressively. Therefore one can definitely say that the QSR culture that has seen an unprecedented growth in the recent past is digging in for the long haul and will just become greater and better in the years to come.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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qsr QSR India Quick Service Restaurants

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