New Delhi: The economy may be slowing and consumers may be trimming shopping lists, but they have not stopped eating out.
On the contrary, fast-food chains, such as KFC India, Pizza Hut and McDonalds, say they served up more meals in October.
Some of them even posted a double-digit increase in sales and reported more customers in the country.
“In October, we have seen a 15% increase in total sales as compared with last year,” said Unnat Varma, director, marketing, KFC India. According to him, people are downgrading from expensive fine-dining restaurants to more affordable eateries.
“We are seeing at least 4,000 new customers being added every day in the last month,” said Pizza Hut’s marketing director Anup Jain.
Pizza Hut, which positions itself as a so-called casual diner, is adopting a twin approach to benefit from the economic slowdown.
It is sandwiched between fine-dining and quick-service restaurants, and will benefit from customers who are spending less, attracting them with value for money offers, Jain said.
McDonalds has posted a 20% increase in India sales in October, compared with the same month last year.
“We are not seeing any slowdown. Our sector would be the last one to get impacted in any inflationary and recession-like situation,” said Vikram Bakshi, managing director, McDonalds India (northern and eastern region).
Eating out has become part of the Indian lifestyle and habits do not change over two-three months, said Aditya Prasad, lead analyst of retail practice at market analysis firm Datamonitor India.
“Just because the economy is going through a bad phase does not mean people will stop eating out.”