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Stand- alone restaurants raising the bar, emerging as a tough competition for the five stars!

To play around with the concepts and innovations, 5 Star hotels can gain a lot from stand-alone restaurants. Though five stars do have some advantages, but they will have to create an atmosphere where talent is allowed to thrive. There was a time when international cuisines, culinary showcases, food festivals, etc. were only provided by the five star hotels. Eating in a five star restaurant was a matter of pride and considered as a journey for our palate through global flavour’. Eating in five stars was awaited for good occasions and regular dining was done in other restaurants that either in the markets and neighborhood. However, a lot has changed over the past decade and standalone restaurants have brought with them a new evolution in dining. With some high end stand-alone restaurants being set up across the country with finest cooking techniques, chefs and global ingredients, Indian gastronomical scenario is gaining popularity. With such neck to neck competition between five stars and stand-alone restaurants, it is very interesting to know and explore some things that five stars can learn from stand-alone restaurants.  

Entrepreneurs from the hospitality industry have expressed that today the food services scene has changed. F&B from 5 stars has shifted to F&B out of 5 stars to the new places and since then there is no looking back. There was a time when  the best talent only wanted to work in a 5 star, but with the rise of quality of stand-alone restaurants it has now become rather cooler to work in them. Chefs who have worked globally prefer joining a stand-alone restaurant to try out their creativity and are seen joining them as Consultants. From their menu designing to the selecting of the chefs, these chefs’ turned consultants are choosing standalone restaurants over five stars. Moreover, stand-alone restaurants today have so much to deal with day to day problems and this is why they more supple. Since there is greater flexibility in stand-alone restaurants in terms of design and creativity, hospitality professionals see more opportunities in them.  

While running a restaurant has a different volume and comes with different challenges, a standalone needs to get a customer in. They have to be very careful with what innovation they have in their offerings so that fatigue doesn’t come in. Hospitality as such is like doing the same things in a different way every day. Veterans in the hospitality industry have shared that it has been found that five stars are usually very inflexible and are not looking at how customers are changing. There is still a lot of inflexibility. There have been concepts of having a standalone in a five star hotel. This concept doesn’t work very well as there they are not accessible directly, but a separate entry might help! So ideas like having a standalone in a hotel is good, but it is hard to retrofit it. If hotels are planning such concepts, they have to be very flexible to be able to do it. There has been a lot of shifts in the customer as well. While we have grown up eating in hotels, it has been seen that when people visit from abroad and get to know that there is a standalone in a hotel, they are keen on exploring it. So we can surely look at merging the two. In fact, this concept is seen in other countries as well.

In conclusion, people want good food with innovation and affordability. They no more look for a formal dining experience. They want a casual place to chill-around and have fun. While a lot of our population is now travelling abroad, they recognize the concepts and cuisines there. The  stand-alone restaurants and professionals of the industry are helping the industry in re-creating these concepts in India at various food destinations. Eating out is more of an experience rather than just eating food. Successful models are replicated everywhere, but living up to the expectation of people is important. There was a time when only a five star hotel was a competition to another five star hotel, but today the stand-alone restaurants are becoming a bigger competition. For the hospitality industry overall, this competition is very good for a customer. Stand-alone restaurants have a lot of freedom and are dynamic in nature and five stars can learn the same from them. A lot of startups in the food app space have shared that initially they faced a tough time in convincing five starts to tie-up with them as they have a very restricted thought process and a lot of guideline to follow. As on date it is a different scenario. Five stars are happily embracing the use new technologies and trends to reach out to more customers. Technology, social media, digital marketing, etc., which was seen missing in five stars are being embraced by them, all thanks to the growing market share of stand-alone restaurants! 

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