Advantages of Running an Indian Food Restaurant

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Love curry? The comforting dish constitutes one of the UK’s favourite cuisines, so it’s no wonder lots of entrepreneurs are interested in joining the Indian food restaurant sector. Keep reading to learn about this popular industry and the advantages of getting involved in it.

There are thousands of curry houses across the UK, serving warming dishes to hungry customers through dine-in, delivery and takeaway outlets. Here in Britain, many of us look forward to a weekly curry from a local restaurant, whether it’s to accompany a social gathering, celebratory get-together or just a Netflix marathon. 

Running a restaurant and keeping it profitable can be tricky, but if you crack the formula, you could secure a spot in a lucrative sector. This article explores the reasons why you might be interested in launching your own Indian food restaurant, and an in-depth look at the industry as a whole.

Advantages of running an Indian food restaurant

  • Indian food is incredibly popular - You’ll find a broad overview of the Indian food restaurant sector further down, but the high levels of demand for curry in the UK put businesses in the sector at an advantage. The warming dish, along with fluffy naan bread, crackling poppadoms and steaming onion bhajis is one of our favourite types of comfort food here in the UK. Many people look forward to their weekly curry or treat themselves to a trip to their local Indian restaurant on a regular basis. 

  • You can experiment with different dishes - As Brits, we have our go-to curries: the korma, the jalfrezi and, of course, the tikka masala. Running a restaurant will give you the opportunity to develop new and exciting flavour combinations, and take inspiration from authentic Indian cuisine. 

  • You can adapt your offering - Curry is incredibly versatile, so you can alter your recipes depending on the market you’d like to join. For example, consumers are becoming increasingly health-conscious at the moment, so why not start a restaurant specialising in healthy Indian cuisine? 

  • Indian food lends itself well to street markets - Pop-up kitchens have seen a significant rise in popularity over the last few years, and Indian cuisine is ideally suited to the street-food phenomenon. With a few tureens of fragrant curries, you could attract passers-by to your food stall, providing tasty dishes to take away and eat on the go. Either launch a street food site to advertise your flagship restaurant, or as your primary source of income. 

  • You can use branding to set the tone - Curry houses come in all shapes and sizes, from affordable, fast food takeaway kiosks to sophisticated restaurants offering a premium dining experience. The brand identity you develop should help potential customers know what to expect when they visit your establishment, so you can use it to tweak your business’s atmosphere. Go for a colourful, playful look to demonstrate a relaxed approach, or set the mood with low lighting, tasteful decor and high-quality table linen to showcase a more luxurious restaurant. 

The current state of the Indian food restaurant sector

Experts believe the average Brit spends more than £30,000 on curry during their lifetime (Sainsbury’s). The comforting dish is a family favourite in many households, so no wonder the Indian food sector is so popular. 

Back in 1960, there were only around 300 curry houses in the UK. By 1980, there were 3,000. But since then, the number of restaurants has boomed; today, roughly 17,000 businesses serve Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Nepalese food across the UK (Curry Culture). The thriving sector employs over 100,000 people and contributes more than £4 billion to the government in taxes. 

Many Indian dishes have come to be considered UK staples. In fact, in 2001, the foreign secretary, Robin Cook, announced chicken tikka masala was Britain's national dish.

Due to the popularity of curry, the Indian food restaurant sector is highly competitive. Lots of businesses find it difficult to establish themselves due to market saturation. However, there are virtually no large-scale, widely recognised Indian restaurant franchises in the UK. This means there’s an opportunity for a franchisor with vision and the business expertise to exploit a gap in the market and offer a lucrative investment opportunity to would-be franchisees.

Join the food service industry with a franchise

There are many advantages to investing in a franchise. You’ll be able to use a tried and tested business model, cater to an established customer pool and benefit from initial training and ongoing support. 

As there aren’t many Indian food restaurant franchises in operation at the moment, we don’t have any investment opportunities in this particular sector. But if you don’t want to go it alone, there are hundreds of other businesses looking for franchisees in the food industry. 

Why not browse our full selection of food franchises, including street food stalls, delivery services and vending machine companies? Alternatively, narrow your choice down to restaurant franchises. We’ve got opportunities in the French, Italian, Asian, American, South American and dessert sectors. 

By clicking on the franchises’ links to their profile pages, you’ll be able to find out their investment criteria, as well as the business perks and support you’ll get if you sign up. 

>> Read more articles on the Restaurant sector

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