Posist Mixer South India Chapter 1.0: The Silver Lining In A Challenging Economy

Mixer is POSist’s community-building initiative to connect with restaurateurs, thought-leaders, industry peers, and inspirational influencers, and support and celebrate the evolution of the restaurant industry. POSist Mixer first started in 2018 with offline events across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Traditionally, Mixer has been a one day, in-person conference that gathers professionals from the restaurant industry and includes inspiring keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and other engaging activities. It’s a great opportunity to inspire and educate your team, as well as grow your network. So far, the event has attracted over 800 participant restaurants.

Recently, we hosted our first virtual conference on 13th September 2020. The theme of the event was Back in Business, How Restaurants Can Make Way For a Comeback! The event stimulated conversations on what consumers want and how restaurants can build trust in the time of COVID-19. 

Keynote Speaker Session: The Silver Lining In A Challenging Economy

The event began with an opening note by Mr. Nitin Motwani, Executive Director,  Everstone Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Motwani comes with 20 years of experience in areas such as food & beverage, oil & gas, real estate, and hospitality, having worked in various capacities, including Group CFO. He has worked with PwC, Deloitte, Baker Hughes, Mirah Group, Badasaab & KA Hospitality. His involvement in F&B businesses has been across various formats in the organized food services sector. such as cafes, QSR, casual & premium dining, bars, and frozen dessert parlors.

Mr. Motwani shared his views on three common behavioral attributes that constitute the 3P’s of business operations– Passion, Patience, and Perseverance and formed a common link with the word – Resilience as the entire restaurant industry has been resilient and is trying to adapt to the crisis precipitated by the pandemic. 

He also emphasized the importance of the 3 C’s of business growth: 

  • Consumer
  • Company
  • Cash

The First C – Consumer 

According to Mr. Motwani, the biggest change the restaurant industry has seen is the change from physical to digital or from offline to online. 

“If COVID was not around, this change would have taken years to get implemented which has now happened in a few months. This accelerated change has led to an online penetration growth of 4.5%, considering all the sectors in the last 6 months”

The same parameter, when tracked over the past 3 years (2016-2019), was only 3%. Mr. Motwani highlighted some of the key trends that have come forward during the pandemic. 

  • Businesses that have been quickly embracing the change in consumer behavior and have pivoted their offerings have seen a much faster recovery.
  • Delivery through marketplace aggregators (Swiggy, Zomato) or through Direct to Customer (D2C) channels has increased rapidly, and therefore in the QSR industry, the recovery is now creeping up every day and is at 55-75% of last year. This rate is faster than what was expected out of this situation. Mr. Motwani sees it as a stable recovery rate. 
  • One of the key trends that have helped bring up the recovery rate is the home delivery of bottled dips, signature sauces, pastes, spreads, and other proprietary items that were earlier available only at restaurants. As a by-product, this has helped to deliver a great customer experience as long as businesses are able to increase the shelf life of these products in order to generate economies of scale and create long term demand
  • Gourmet food deliveries, dedicated DIY kits, ready to eat items. cloud kitchens, etc, have been some key trends that have emerged from this pandemic. 

The 2nd C – Company

According to Mr. Motwani, unless restaurants are disciplined and plan ahead in time to right-size the cost, it will lead to survival issues.

The 3rd C – Cash

Mr. Motwani’s advice to restaurant operators is to maintain better liquidity by leveraging smart supplier credit financing. 

“In terms of how many months of liquidity one should shore up, Ideally, I would say somewhere around 9-12 months here-on would be a good bet”- Mr. Nitin Motwani, Executive Director, Everstone Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

He ended the session on a positive note saying that one must keep planning for different scenarios as that can give a lot of insights on experimentation and how one must move forward.

Keep watching this space for detailed coverage of the POSist Mixer, South India Chapter 1.0 event. 

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