A foodie’s paradise, Indore has recently witnessed the shutdown of close to 100 food outlets. While some were franchisees of big restaurants, others were opened by individuals from the city.
“Indore has expanded and developed immensely in terms of the food market. You get to see a huge surge in the number of eateries and cafes. But of late, a lot of these places have shut down,” said Rakesh Dawani, owner of Indori Zayka, a food blog.
A survey by Indori Zayka a few days back explored the various reasons for the shutdown of the restaurants in the city.
One of the reasons cited in the report was the high rentals in almost all the prime locations in the city. In places like Chappan Dukan, the rental was close to Rs 70,000-80,000 for a 3,000-4,000 sq ft wide outlet.
Specialty restaurant chains like Mainland China, Rajdhani Thali, Hokey Pockey, Rollacosta and Cravingz are some of the chains which shut down within three years of starting.
“It is true that a lot of restaurants have opened in the city in the past and shut down within a year or two. It is bad for the city because if the franchise of national restaurants shut in the city, then it simply means that they are never going to come back again,” said Sumit Suri, president, Hotel Association, Indore.
He said high rentals and not doing proper research has led to this shut downs.
“A number of chains open an outlet thinking they can survive with just one cuisine. But, this just doesn’t happen, especially in a city like Indore, which is yet to step out and experiment with its taste buds,” he said.
“Say, if somebody is opening a cake shop, they have to have a backup, in terms of serving snacks and some fast food items as well so that if people don’t like the fusion food they can at least fall back on the usual items,” he said.
Another aspect noted by some cafe owners was that of the city being dominated by vegetarians.
“Indore is a vegetarian market. 70% of the population is vegetarian, leaving a market share of around 30% for non-vegetarian customers. Therefore, it is important to open something which suits this calculation,” said Pranay Ashtputre, owner of Meximus, a Mexican restaurant which shut down six months back.
“People here do love to eat and are truly foodie, but are hesitant when it comes to international cuisines. Cuisines which are bland are not received with the same warmth as the one which are highly spiced,” he added.