Rise of a New Restaurant Format: Premium Casual Dining Restaurants

With changing trends, growing urbanization, a rise in youth populations and the ever-growing Western influence, diners are beginning to have higher expectations from casual dining restaurants, impelling restaurant owners to revamp and reinvent their restaurant style and services. In fact, that is why a lot of the listed ‘casual dining restaurants’ are becoming more lavish and luxurious implying influence from fine dining restaurants. The boundaries between fine-dines and casual dining restaurants, though existent, are beginning to blur out. A new category of restaurants is coming up- ‘Premium Casual Dining Restaurants', that is providing the comfort and elegance of fine dining restaurants, yet offers the casual ambiance and fun environment of casual dining restaurants.
The availability of alcohol and fork and knives cutlery provided all around, even with typical Indian food items has marked a shift in the nature of casual dining restaurants.


How Premium Casual Dining Restaurants Differ from Fine-Dines and Casual Dining Restaurants

Ambiance

Facilitated by evolved restaurant design, service styles and re-engineered menus, Premium Casual Dining Restaurants blur out the lines between fine and casual dining offering a superior yet casual experience to customers.

If you look at brands like Social, Number 8, SodaBottleOpenerWala, The Flying Saucer Café etc you will observe how they are pushing their ‘casual dining’ mode and shifting the greater focus of their restaurant theme, designs and hospitality which has helped them in gaining immense popularity.

Facilities and Services

Premium casual dining restaurants offer top-notch facilities and services on par with the fine dining restaurants. Over the years, diners have very positively reacted to provisions like table reservations, large and highly indulging dessert options, great platings and table display, extensive and international wine options, celebrity chef menu specials and availability of top chefs onboard. When such provisions which might seem exclusively for fine-dines are incorporated, customers find this unobtrusive, but with a laudably attentive service and lesser formality and etiquettes. Thus, Premium dining restaurants provide a more casual yet premium dining options.

Pricing

Let us talk about the steal here! Premium Casual Dining restaurants cleverly offer food moderately priced between Rs 1,500- Rs 2,000 for two, which is carefully priced mid-way between the prices of casual dining restaurants and fine-dines. They manage to attract a lot of customers with their prices almost at par with casual dining restaurants and services close to that of a fine dining restaurant, giving an impression of a premium yet affordable social dining options.

Target Audience

Millennials or HNI- While the entire food service industry relies on the younger populations, premium casual dining sector primarily targets millennials or high net-worth individuals (HNIs) that are more open to innovative food and dining options. These HNIs, which includes professionals and young independent individuals, are also individuals who are well traveled and experienced to various cuisines. It is such people who have greater expectations that often fail to be taken care of by the traditional casual dining restaurants, and fine-dining restaurants are not a suitable option for their regular visits. These are individuals that prefer a more casual and ‘chilled out’ ambiance, so fine-dining options are never their go-to options.

Families- Since more and more youngsters are growing to be fascinated by eating out rather than eating home-cooked food, parents and families are also  adjusting to the eating habits of their children and seek to spend more time with them. Families, especially those in the upper middle-class section look out for family dining options that are economically viable for them and offers a premium ambiance to enjoy at with their entire families.
 

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With the rise in economy and demographics of young working professionals, there is an increase in people interested in quality food, high-quality attentive service, casual ambiance and a parallely luxurious environment. With this, Premium Casual Restaurants in the coming years have greater opportunities than ever!

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