TABLES HAVE TURNED FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY?

Anushree Kalla / 24-Jul-2020

India is a nation of foodies. The majority of the population run on varieties of food and caffeine. It is among the tenth fastest-growing market place for coffee shops. Many big outlets and branded coffee networks like Cafe Coffee Day, Barista, Starbucks, and individualistic coffee chains have tremendously maintained a lucrative mark to survive in this coffee business.


Back in the year 2019, it was estimated by Economic Times that these well-established coffee channels will grow, and will reach Rupees 4540 crore mark by the year 2023. And as per a survey by Euromonitor, it even suggested that both independent and chained cafes will remain strong. But seeing at the present Pandemic, the coffee market has changed drastically, and it needs a re-direction. This global catastrophe is a whole lot about contraction, conversion, and correction.

A BIG TURNOVER FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY:

We are moving ahead with the new normal. From sanitation to social distancing. We have created a new norm and are surviving to the core of this disease. After March 2020, the Food and Beverage sector has taken a turnover. Be it ambience or food quality or safety and careful budgeting. Food Marketplace is seeing a metamorphosis in its field.

The spread of the virus is a constant fear amongst the people, and as per the result, there is diminution seen in cafe culture networks. We believed that "Change is the only constant", but this change has excessively created a huge impact.

It has not only changed the financial conditions but has also shifted their lifestyle pattern. Saturday nights are no longer known for crowded cafe sessions with friends, or even weekday meetings are no longer the same, and the regular Cappuccino orders with whipped cream are on hold.


CHANGE IS NEAR:

The whole nation was in lockdown, and people went to the old lifestyle. The home-made food became a subsistence need. And because of this, popular cafe chains and local coffee shops showed a detrimental loss. Many people turned to chefs in this quarantine and the restaurants and acknowledged cafe shops have come to a standstill. The things cannot happen as they were before corona. From jam-packed cafes to the prices and the budgets. From the quality of food to normal socialising. From investments to successes, every detail has shifted accordingly. The restaurant ecosystem and cafe networks are giving thumbs down.

Unfortunately, Corona crisis has shaken the Food Sector, and it seems quite challenging to bring the old phase back. "Closed until further notice", "Only Take Away Orders", "See you soon", etc these taglines have become the new normal for restaurants and coffee chains. From cold iced brew coffee to cheese Lasagna. From Irish Frappe to vegetable sizzler. From starters to the regular main course menu. All the imperative needs have changed radically. And the question gets bigger and bigger that "What will be the future of the Food Market?"


INSIGHTS OF FUTURE TRENDS:

We are moving digitally, and the food market is trying to maintain its position in the same manner. Seeing the current market scenario, restaurants and cafes are moving in unknown terrain. To stabilize the condition, restaurateurs are adapting to the change, taking the necessary actions, and burgeoning their business with the help of digital platforms.


NEW ERA AHEAD: THE NEW NORMS FOR FOOD MARKET:


1. SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONS:
"Not allowed without the masks", "Your safety is in your hand", "Stay Safe. Stay Healthy", "Maintain Social Distancing." These are a few lines that are the new bandwagon. Every cafe shops are implementing or will implement such banners to promote safety and hygiene. A detector to check the temperature of the customers will be the new normal and compulsory for every restaurant business.

Not only the templates or a board, but they also need to assure the hygiene with their actions. From fumigated ambience to clean crockery and cutleries. From the use of sanitizers to clean environment. They need to adapt to such changes to get back into the race.


2. DIGITAL LANDING:
The biggest asset for any restaurant company and cafe shops is their customers, as they build their community further, and form healthy networks. If they will have the trust of their customers, then they can run ahead in this business. They have to engage technologically to exchange the information, provide feedback, and handle the transactions.

Many food sectors and coffee chains have turned their menus digitally, and some are working on it to get their customers to trust back. In Gurugram, almost all the restaurants have a digitised menu. QR platform has braced up, and it is taking a lead in the food market place. In future, Over 5 lakh restaurants represented by NRAI will be able to harmonise their operations by connecting with their customers directly through WhatsApp. It is the new digital era with utmost safety.


3. THINKING OUT OF THE BOX:
People have become more aware of now! With this constant survival in the lockdown for more than three months, their way of thinking has changed, and their taste demands something new and innovative. Restaurant biz has to accept this as a new challenge. They have to understand the new customer behaviour and must balance between the old and the new restaurant rituals. They need to work on more mediums, work on bringing the wireless and wired connectivity, and need to deliver their business as per the customer needs. They have to think outside the box, and need to serve the new dishes on the platter. It is a quintessential approach in this swinging Pandemic. As people are unaware of how things will unfold in the future, and the constant fear has become a tenant in their minds, restaurant and coffee networks must take necessary actions before.


4. NEW MENUS. OLD PRICES:
To gain the customers back, ingrained networks need to maintain the impeccable equity between the new menus with the same old prices. If there will be a sudden increase in the prices of the dishes and beverages, people will tend to avoid visiting that place. At a constant pace, they need to maintain this decorum and take a lead in their business ahead.



5. ALL ABOUT THE REVIEWS:
By following the millennial trend, the upcoming era in the food and beverage industry can be dedicated to the Food Bloggers. Their one review on any social platform can bring out the best or the worst for restaurants and coffee market place.


Thinking about the possibilities and uncertainties, there will be a crucial period for the Food and Beverage Industries. Things seem quite challenging in the future, but as said, " There is always lightness at the end of the tunnel." Progress will be seen. With the crossed fingers and leap of faith, let's hope for a positive food market place ahead.