Is Bengaluru Evolving as an Epicentre of India's F&B Resurgence?

Restaurant

By Sakshi Singh , Contributory Author

04 Mar 2024 | 9 min read

Bengaluru's food and beverage (F&B) industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the last two decades. Once concentrated in central areas like MG Road and Church Street, the city's culinary map has expanded exponentially, reaching outlying areas like Hennur and North Bengaluru. This geographic diversification mirrors the city's evolution from a relatively modest urban center to a cosmopolitan metropolis with a diverse, international populace.

“The population of Bengaluru was much lower back in days and the Bangalorean would step out during weekends. From the past 20 years the city has become very diverse. We have people from across the world we've become an international city,” mentions Shivanth Nishkam from Dock 66. The F&B sector in Bengaluru has bounced back impressively in the post-pandemic world. There's been a significant increase in customer footfall, coupled with a rise in average spending per visit. 

This reflects not only a resurgence of the market post-COVID-19 but also points to a more robust economic environment and a consumer base with higher disposable incomes. Investments in the sector have grown, indicating strong confidence in the market's potential and future growth. The influx of diverse international cuisines and dining concepts has further enriched the city's F&B landscape, catering to the evolving palate of its cosmopolitan population. Establishments are increasingly focusing on experiential dining, integrating local flavors with global trends, and emphasizing sustainability in their operations. This trend towards innovation and variety is attracting not just local residents but also tourists, making Bengaluru a burgeoning culinary hotspot in the region.

Innovation and Expansion in the F&B Sector

Innovative ventures like Dock 66 in Whitefield's LIT Box complex, led by business head Shivanth Nishkam, showcase the dynamism of Bengaluru's F&B scene. Plans for expansion and diversification under different brand names reflect a strategic approach to tapping into various market segments. Similarly, The Pump House's expansion from JP Nagar to Whitefield, with unique offerings like alfresco dining and hot pot tables, underscores the innovative spirit driving the sector.

The NRAI India Food Services Report revealed that Bengaluru’s organized food service market, valued at INR 20,014 crore, is the third-highest among other metros in India. Positioned as a major industry in the country’s service sector, following retail and insurance, this sector's growth trajectory looks promising.

Recent trends also indicate an increasing inclination towards healthy and sustainable dining options, with many restaurants and food outlets incorporating organic, farm-to-table concepts. This shift towards sustainability and health-conscious dining aligns well with Bengaluru's progressive and environmentally aware populace.

While all the cusines are taping in well in Bengaluru’s F&B landscape, in the past year, at least 14 restaurants have opened in Bengaluru with a focus on Japanese and Korean food or expanded operations. Japanese restaurants have consolidated their place on Bengaluru’s F&B map, Korean food is beginning to come up, and the appetite for Indo-Chinese has saturated. Prajwal Hegde, who has been in the F&B business for over 20 years, used to primarily focus on Chinese food. “The Indian crowd now has a growing appetite for Thai and Japanese food,” he tells. Hegde and two partners recently launched Hunan Square, a pan-Asian restaurant in Electronics City.

Bengaluru's Market Dynamics and Investment Appeal

Bengaluru's F&B market is one of India's largest value. It stands just behind Mumbai and Delhi in terms of size but leads in terms of growth potential. This is largely due to Bengaluru's demographic profile: a young, dynamic population that includes a significant number of professionals and students from across India and the world. These demographics not only provide a diverse customer base but also ensure a steady demand for varied and innovative F&B offerings.

“Being a young city with many consumers being fresh graduates from small towns and cities with access to many things, it’s a happy dining destination with a prospect for better ROI as an investor,” Vishal Atreya, chef and founder of The Pump House had mentioned. 

Bengaluru is already experiencing a resurgence and fresh arrivals in its food and beverage scene this year. While Monkey Bar made a significant comeback, The Tham Brothers, Ryan and Keenan from Pebble Street Hospitality, are set to make their mark in Bengaluru's F&B market. They are launching their first restaurant at Forum Rex Walk on Brigade Road, adding to the city's vibrant dining landscape.

Why Bengaluru is a Hotspot for F&B Investment

Bengaluru's status as a prime destination for food and beverage (F&B) investments is attributed to a combination of key factors. The city boasts a young, tech-savvy population, eager to explore new culinary experiences, making them a significant driving force in the F&B sector. This is further bolstered by Bengaluru's economic prosperity, often referred to as the Silicon Valley of India, which has led to increased disposable incomes and consumer spending in dining and leisure activities. 

Bengaluru's rich cultural diversity, shaped by both expatriates and people from various parts of India, has created a demand for a broad spectrum of cuisines and dining experiences. The city's rapid urbanization and evolving lifestyle patterns have also heightened the preference for dining out and experimenting with different cuisines. Lastly, the local government's supportive stance towards the hospitality industry, through initiatives such as ease of doing business and licensing reforms, has played a crucial role in attracting investments to the sector.

Bengaluru's emergence as a break-or-make market for restaurant brands is a narrative of demographic shifts, economic resilience, innovative entrepreneurship, and adaptive consumer behavior. The city's varied population, increased spending power, and openness to new culinary experiences make it a fertile ground for both established brands and novel culinary ventures. As Bengaluru continues to evolve, it is poised to remain a linchpin in the shaping of India's F&B landscape, offering compelling opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs alike.

Bengaluru's food and beverage (F&B) industry has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the last two decades. Once concentrated in central areas like MG Road and Church Street, the city's culinary map has expanded exponentially, reaching outlying areas like Hennur and North Bengaluru. This geographic diversification mirrors the city's evolution from a relatively modest urban center to a cosmopolitan metropolis with a diverse, international populace.

“The population of Bengaluru was much lower back in days and the Bangalorean would step out during weekends. From the past 20 years the city has become very diverse. We have people from across the world we've become an international city,” mentions Shivanth Nishkam from Dock 66. The F&B sector in Bengaluru has bounced back impressively in the post-pandemic world. There's been a significant increase in customer footfall, coupled with a rise in average spending per visit. 

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