As the city becomes more and more dynamic, eating out increases. Take Mumbai. In the last ten years, eating out frequency has gone up three times to about eight times a month. Not as much as the Americans – about 14 times or even Brazilians – about 11 times.
So why is Mumbai – and other cities – coming out to eat so often?
The reasons aren’t difficult to fathom. First, eating out used to be exclusively a leisure activity but is now becoming a convenience activity arising out of long commutes, more single householders and nuclear families with both partners working. An additional impetus to eating out is coming from “eating out at home”. For example, McDonald’s has seen a 30% increase in McDelivery and a 300% increase in online sales.
Eating out also gains ground as more and more people are willing to experiment with newer cuisine, flavours and experiences. Earlier, eating out used to be occasion-driven while now eating out has become an occasion, event and entertainment in itself – an activity undertaken for itself rather than as a celebration or a ‘get together’. The net result is the rise of the ‘eating out’ economy which has propelled the restaurant industry to $48 billion, according to a report by the National Restaurant Association of India.
Cutting out time and energy spent in cooking and the availability of fresh, hot food in quick time is also driving the traffic to Quick Service Restaurants which today make up 70 per cent of the organized segment. McDonald’s is an obvious destination when it comes to eating good food fast. A combination of cleanliness, quality, good food, a menu range and quick service results in customers finding McDonald’s the go-to destination for everything – from a cup of coffee to a quick breakfast or a leisurely dinner.