Lucknow, the city of nawabs has always been known for its authentic dishes, street food, and unbeatable etiquettes. However, due to the increasing influence of social media and the internet, the city of Lucknow has been exposed to many upcoming restaurant trends and there has been a wave of new cuisines, new restaurant formats and changed customer demands. We have been trying to find out everything there is to know about these changing scenarios of Lucknow.
One of the most interesting trends that have been set in Lucknow in recent years, is the expansion of food aggregators to tier-II and Tier-III cities. Along with that, a lot of big brands from Delhi/ Mumbai are opening their outlets in Lucknow. With that happening, people in Lucknow are willingly stepping out to eat, thereby leading to all the more expansion of the restaurant industry in Lucknow. Let’s dive in to understand what exactly is causing these trends and how the older restaurants are taking it!
7 Developing Trends That Morphed The Restaurant Industry In Lucknow
Lucknow has grown immensely in Food and beverage business, especially in the last 3 years. From Mexican to Spanish and from English to Asian, the city has ample dining options where one can easily feast upon his or her favorite cuisine which was not a trend a couple of years back.
The restaurant space in Lucknow has always been more about the authentic tastes of Lucknow. Although, with millennials coming in and asking for more, many new restaurant formats are coming up in the city. Taking into consideration the increasing number of people wanting to dine out, many smaller bakeries are also incorporating the dine-in facility to their store.
It should be noted that the increasing frequency of people dining out is directly related to their average spending power. The last few years have seen tremendous growth in job opportunities in Lucknow, thereby the rise in spending power. The social media influence on millennials leads to the change in trends that can be seen in the city.
In a conversation with the General Manager of Renaissance Hotel, Lucknow, Sanu Sadanandan, we had the opportunity to get some insights about the changing restaurant space in Lucknow.
“We have seen good job opportunities flowing in the city with big corporations and MNC’s opening up their regional offices and administrative centers in Lucknow, attracting the local talent to move back from Metro cities that are on the brink of saturation. With the migration of this large sect of the population, it came in the money to be spent on their avenues that define their lifestyles”,
added Sanu Sadanandan, the General Manager of Renaissance Hotel, Lucknow.
Let’s look at other morphing trends of the restaurant industry in Lucknow, one by one.
i) Emerging Restaurant Formats
The new age Lakhnavi has access to all the ingredients of life in a metro- the malls, different restaurant formats and fitness centers of world-class chains. This peculiar change comes from the fact that many youngsters have seen and experienced life in bigger cities themselves.
Out of the mix, buffet format restaurants are faring out well as it offers an extensive choice to a customer wiz a wiz the price which is an important factor in an evolving market like Lucknow.
- Bars and pubs are becoming more and more famous with an increased disposable income of people.
- The 24*7 breakfast trend has been on a phenomenal rise, due to the change in lifestyle of Lakhnavis. Many different restaurants offer a 24*7 breakfast for their customers. Cappucino Blast is one such cafe in Lucknow, where you’d find pretty decors and most amazing breakfasts to attract Lakhnavis.
Some other amazing places that offer breakfasts on the go have been among the favorites of Lakhnavis. This is why people have started to incorporate the breakfast culture into their restaurants. Here’s one example of the craze people share for a heavy breakfast.
3. Since most Lakhnavis have a sweet tooth, many bakeries cum cafes are establishing in the city. These bakeries have a dine-in facility for their customers and are built in the most Instragrammable way. JJ Bakers and The Cherry Tree Cafe are a few such examples, where you get to see the most amazing decor and the perfect cakes.
Other than these, the forever famous tea stalls and food joint corners are always the go-to places for Lakhnavis to eat out.
ii) Lifestyle Changes Have Lead To Change In Preferences!
The old trends of people in Lucknow seem to be somehow intact, in spite of the new food and beverage trends entering the city. These new consumption trends have been somehow adopted from the metropolitan cities, where people are more likely to explore new tastes and cuisines. With the phenomenal rise of these restaurant trends in Lucknow, there has been upside down in the whole of the restaurant industry of Lucknow.
a) Phenomenal Rise Of The Club Life: The 114-year-old Mahomed Bagh Club indicates how the club life has always been a part and parcel of Lakhnavis. But the last three decades have seen a phenomenal rise in club life.
The basking of so many new clubs in the city and people becoming permanent members of clubs like Golf Clubs is becoming the new style statement of people in the city. This has caused a direct impact on the restaurant industry as well. People like to have healthy meals while in the clubs, which means that the new restaurant formats are now catering to the healthy food trends in the city.
b) Lakhnavis Experiencing The Lounging Glory: The establishment of new lounges in the city have made Lucknow a more eventful city than it already was. Although the calmness of the city has been a little perturbed by these lounges, people are loving the newly incorporated culture. The general manager of Golden Tulip Hotel, The European Chain went ahead with the expansion plan looking at the increasing potential of the city.
c) The Work Hard and Party Harder Culture Touched Down In Lucknow: Influenced by the city, many restaurants are cashing on the trend of bars and pubs. Millennials and people want to now relax after their work, and party on the weekends. This is why the need for bars and party culture arose in Lucknow. Many bigger bar brands like The Beer Cafe, Farzi Cafe, etc. have identified the opportunity and landed into the city with their outlets.
d) Lebanese Food On Lakhnavi Platter: Lakhnavis have always been pretty loyal to their cuisine, which is one reason why there were no new cuisines in the city for ages, until the past few years. The recent advancement in technology, social media boom, and an increase in people’s disposable incomes call for a more luxurious and happening life.
Since people are now more open to experiments, new cuisines are coming up in the city, with constant loyalty towards the local cuisine. One such example is the Lebanese food coming up, with a touch of Mughlai food. Kebab rolls at Vintage Machine, Shaam-e-Shiraaz, have recently been the talk of the town.
iii) Coming In Of Bigger Restaurant Brands
With the establishment of bigger brands in the smaller cities, the horizon of the restaurant industry has expanded. The top players of metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai are bringing brands like Farzi Cafe, Beer Cafe, and Smoke House Deli. Since the city is witnessing a lot of growth, especially when it comes to their restaurants, all the big players want to make the best out of it.
The establishment of bars or restrobars has impacted the restaurant industry by bringing in the alcohol culture to the city. Millennials from Lucknow also like to have a drink or two to have a good time.
“These cities have seen rapid growth in commercial areas and better transportation, thereby creating a huge opportunity for the food services industry,”
He has 40 outlets of his brand The Beer Café in 12 cities. His 2019 plan is to reach Guwahati, Nagpur, and Jaipur apart from Chennai and Hyderabad. “Due to liquor prohibition, we can’t invest in the cities of Gujarat: Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Surat,”
iv) Upcoming Food Fests
Long gone are the days where food fests were the major attractions for restaurants only in the metropolitan cities. The lively grandeur of food festivals has just arrived tier-II and tier-III cities like Lucknow, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur. Restaurants in Lucknow have started to explore these new food fests in town as an opportunity to increase their profits. Food Fest at the University road in Lucknow attracts a major chunk of the student crowd. Similarly, India Food Expo attracted all different sorts of the crowd from across the country!
v) The Role Of Food Bloggers
With the rise in the use of social media by restaurants, people are also picking up on another trend from the big cities, the food bloggers. The good side of employing influencer marketing into your restaurant business model is that these micro-influencers or food bloggers have a wider range of local followers that you could target to be your customers. Having a good review from such a verified authority helps to create a better impact in the eyes of the customers.
But since the food blogging industry is still in the early stages in the city of Lucknow, there could be a bad side to this kind of marketing as well. A few of the food bloggers have a wider reach of the audience through their blogs. Having an extraordinary review could result in unnecessarily high expectations of your customers from your restaurant. The worst scenario could also be where you are not able to handle the kind of footfall influencer-marketing is bringing in to your restaurant. This would not only cause a bad name for your restaurant and a spread of negative reviews but also cost you a lot of business.
“Food blogging is still in a very nascent stage in the city. Though there are bloggers who have made a name for themselves in the Lucknow’s F&B space, there is still a long way to go for the city to see some serious and in-depth blogging happening,”
mentioned Sadanandan about the scenario of food blogging.
This is why you must complete your homework before you start reaching out to the top engaging food bloggers in your city. However, to aid your research, here are the top few food bloggers in Lucknow. Anushka Sen (@anushkasen0408), Siddique Meraj (@siddique_meraj), Shrizan (@shrizans) and Siddhartha Joshi (@siddharthajoshi) are the few most active bloggers in the city.
vi) The Coming In Of Food Delivery
The food delivery ecosystem was organic to this rampant growth of Lucknow’s F&B space. It adds extra hands at visibility, the ability for a restaurant to reach to its end customers. Most of the restaurants have associations and tie-ups with the food delivery partners as it aids in earning incremental revenue.
For Sadanandan, the advent of food delivery hasn’t affected revenues as because as a brand they strive to deliver unique and personalized experiences to the guests who walk into their restaurants. That coupled with the food they prepare and serve from their live interactive kitchens and that is something which no food delivery partner can extend.
As the online food delivery business is new in Lucknow, most online aggregators are charging a minimum percentage to attract more customers. However, experts say that once the market is acclimatized, aggregators will expect a higher percentage share in payments.
vii) The Role Of Technology In Changing Restaurant Trends of Lucknow
The morphing scenarios of the restaurant space in Lucknow demand for a change in the way a restaurant is typically operated in the city. A few years down the line, people did not identify the need for technology to manage a restaurant. Even the bills were written down manually and the customers would not have a problem with it.
However, the wave of social media leads to increased awareness among consumers, especially Gen Z. They would ask for an electronically generated bill, which is why the restaurateurs identified the need for a restaurant management software in their restaurants.
A restaurant POS does not only help in streamlining your restaurant operations but also helps to scale up your business. This is why restaurateurs have become more tech-savvy, realizing the need for technology in operations. The result is seen in the increased efficiency of restaurants in the city.
All in all, since the restaurant industry is booming in the smaller cities, it would be interesting to see how the consumers and restaurateurs react to it. As far as Lucknow is concerned, there are still many restaurant trends that are in the nascent stages and will continue to grow as people are becoming more and more demanding and peculiar about their food.