COURSE BY COURSE: HOW INDIA STARTED EATING OUT
The pre-independence era witnessed the launch of restaurants like Flurys (Kolkata), Karim’s (Delhi) and Leopold Café (Mumbai). As people migrated to cities for work, there was a spurt in smaller eateries – like Udupi restaurants in Mumbai – serving freshly cooked food. The moneyed went to five-star hotel restaurants.
The middle-class began eating out in a big way from the 1990s. They had higher disposable incomes, dual-income families and an aspiration for a Western lifestyle. The entry of Mcdonald’s in 1996 galvanised the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) format.
By the 2000s, chains like Café Coffee Day, Barista and Mocha ushered in a café culture. In smaller cities, the demand for restaurants came in the 2000s as the towns got more urbanised and residents could afford to go out more often, suggests a 2017 report by management consulting firm Technopak, in partnership with FICCI.
The report adds that two mega metros – Delhi and Mumbai – contribute to 22% of the food services market.
Six mini-metros (Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad) constitute 20%. The remaining 58% is from 21 cities – Jaipur, Lucknow, Surat, Nagpur, Kanpur, Indore, Patna, Chandigarh, Kochi, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Ludhiana, Nashik, Varanasi, Madurai, Visakhapatnam, Bhopal, Amritsar, Rajkot, Trivandrum, Goa – and the rest of India.