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The restaurant sector is making a comeback with new outlets and expansion plans



One of the hardest-hit sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant
industry is making a recovery. With a slew of restaurant outlets opening
every month across the country, and many more being planned for
expansion, the year 2022, is paving the way for revival and growth.
According to the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI ), it is
estimated that another 5,000 restaurants will be added to the country by
next year.

Karan Kapur, executive director, K Hospitality Corp said, “ We are
extensively expanding Joshh and Copper Chimney, and as a group, have
already launched over 10 outlets this year. There are plans to launch another
60 outlets, over the next 12 months at the minimum, potentially stretching
up to 100 units. From opening multiple outlets for Joshh across Mumbai,
expanding Bombay Brasserie in the South to entering the North Indian
market with our legacy brand Copper Chimney’s latest outlet in CyberHub,
Gurugram, the company’s expansion plans extend across our brands and
verticals including multiple new highway and airport outlets as well.”

The hospitality industry is witnessing a strong rebound powered by revenge
consumerism post the Covid-19 induced lockdowns and restrictions. “As is
always the case — consistent and engaging concepts survive the pressures of
inflation and demographic habits, macro socio-economic trends,” said Rahul
Khanna, co-founder Azure Hospitality. The brand has a presence in 13 cities
across India with 70 outlets. They have 15 outlets under fit-outs for
completion in the next few months. Expansion is being led by their flagship
brands Mamagoto and Dhaba along with the lifestyle concept of the
boutique brand, Sly Granny.

Manish Sharma, founder Aviary Cocktail Nest and Ivoryy Cocktail Garden in
Delhi opened two outlets earlier this year. A robust pan-India expansion is
being planned for their properties. “A new brand Drops will be opened in the
next five months. The other restaurants in the pipeline are Ivorry in Goa
and Meerut, Aviary in Kanpur, and Chandigarh,” said Sharma.

The pandemic left in its wake, numerous challenges before the restaurant
sector. And, with new restaurants cropping up, competition and retaining
customers is one of the biggest concerns.

“Being in the middle of Khan Market, almost 25 percent of our revenues
were from international travellers. We have witnessed a significant dip in
our revenues from the international tourist segment due to the
pandemic.The current market looks positive and is on a growth trajectory.
The only challenge now, is the sudden spurt of restaurant openings, creating
immense competition to grasp consumers’ attention in this fast-paced digital
world. Hope, the market can absorb high supply demands,” said Swadeep
Popli, founder, The Chatter House with outlets in Khan Market and Nehru
Place. Their third outlet will go live by end of the year in Gurugram.

“We are also opening Flow – Brew & Dine, a large format diner
and microbrewery with a spacious outdoor seating area and a long bar and is
going to be South Delhi’s first micro-brewery,” added Popli.

“We were a bit unsure during the first quarter of the year 2022 due to the
Covid-19 restrictions. But later on, the business bounced back and we were
able to see the footfall at the restaurant. The sales numbers are also
increasing and are back to what was projected before the pandemic
for these years,” said Shikha Begwani, owner, CosyBox, Ophelia, and Toy Room.”
This year Toy Room Mumbai and CosyBox in Delhi were launched. Deals
have been signed for Toy Room Bengaluru and Toy Room Goa. “There are
talks to expand the branches for all three brands in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Goa,
Kolkata, and Chandigarh,” said Begwani.

For some, plans to open restaurants in the year 2021 were pushed back due
to the pandemic-induced lockdown and were eventually launched in the
year 2022. “ We opened two outlets this year- Khubani in Andaz Hotel
and Imperfecto Boutique, Dwarka. We had initially planned to launch Khubani in
December but due to the third lockdown, the opening was pushed to March 2022.
We are planning to launch five new properties by the end of this year,”
said Sharad Madan, co-founder and director Imperfecto Group and Khubani.

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