Restaurant industry in India - statistics & facts

India has always been a food-loving country, and the extensive Indian cuisine is an amalgamation of influences from various cultures and traditions. The popularity of Indian cuisine in tandem with Indian chefs has put the country on the global culinary map with a few earning prestigious Michelin stars. Restaurants and hotels had the highest per capita consumption for food among food services in fiscal year 2016. The restaurant industry fares well providing employment to millions every year. Increasing disposable incomes, changing lifestyles and the easy availability of various cuisines have influenced many Indians to forgo home cooked food and expand their palettes. A symbiotic growth between the food industry and the growing middle class has rendered the success of Indian restaurants.

The impact of globalization in the 1990s on the food industry has helped the economy in terms of establishing business ventures with many food chains with non-Indian and fusion influences, including cafes. However, this also posed a huge competition to the existing local and regional establishments forcing diversification and innovation. This huge surge in the previous decade paved way for more quick service restaurants, affordable fine dining with a rise in cuisines that catered to niche consumers. Although serving alcohol is permitted only at licensed establishments, it is customary for establishments to display them to the public.

While the unorganized sector dominated the industry, much like others in the country, authorities need to constantly monitor and regulate the numerous unregistered street vendors who cater to the working middle class. Amidst the high food cost inflation in such a highly fragmented market, the success of the restaurant is determined by their profitability without compromising on quality and flavor. The latter also happens to be the most important determining factor for customers. Another form restaurants took was the establishment of food courts in shopping malls, giving diverse retail sectors a boost.

A booming food industry has also attracted foreign direct investments to the country. With the advent of online food services, startups like Swiggy and Zomato had the highest investment value from Tencent, China and Samsung Ventures, Korea. Such entrepreneurial ventures backed by international interests is bound to intensify the competition and choice in this industry over coming years. With the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and subsequent lockdown, it came as no surprise that operational consequences weighed down heaviest on hospitality and restaurants around the world. The silver lining is the already growing online food service market. In India, this meant a greater rate of adoption for cashless payments in addition to outsourcing deliveries from food services. In fact, the success of Swiggy and Zomato - now household names can be seen in their expansion to include delivery of groceries, alcohol, and medicines.

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Fast foods


Online food orders


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