Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Industry on a fairly positive trajectory: Manu Chandra



“The trend that I’m seeing is, especially with places which have open air, and places that would be considered slightly more high end or fine dining are definitely seeing better traction. If the combination exists, which means high end and open air then far better performance. So some of those are clocking 100 percent of pre-COVID numbers,” said Manu Chandra, Chef Partner Olive Group and Bengaluru Chapter Head, NRAI.

Chandra was speaking to ETHospitalityWorld on his perception of the restaurant industry recently.

He continued that his view was not based on the volume of footfall alone, but also on the quality of customer and their spends—they definitely wanted to have more experiential meals, were not unwilling to spend more on better quality alcohol and drinks leading to higher APCs.

Chandra said since he was available personally looking after his guests, the chef-driven module also helped with increasing business exponentially.

“It’s amazing how many messages I get on social media saying: We believe you cook dinners personally, could you do one for us? It’s not that I didn’t do it earlier, it was just that it wasn’t as tangible,” he said.

One of the reasons for his increased presence was the fact that while business was coming back, staff strength was still down.

“Getting people back is the issue. I think it’s the ability of the business to absorb higher HR costs. All of us are kind of in limbo as far as any kind of projections are concerned. While it’s clearly as a country, we seem to have shirked the larger trends of lockdowns— we actually are far better poised to make a recovery than anybody else in the world,” he said.

“Green shoots are already visible. I think there’ll be enough businesses, maybe those were just food driven spaces who didn’t have to rely on alcohol or are heavily reliant on dine in sales. Those guys might just, clock, a breakeven this financial year, which of course, is mammoth compared to what, we envisaged at the start of the pandemic,” he said speaking about the F&B recovery story, adding that even in the experiential places, November, December and January had shown plenty of good signs.

There were parts of the business which were not doing as well but overall, it was a fairly positive trajectory. Once one spoke about recovery, the only thing that could come in the way of it is larger economic conditions, like a recessionary cycle of some kind, but otherwise, Chandra thought as things were going right now, it would not be impossible to make a full recovery.

Recommended for you