By Praveen Vighre:
Going by the number of restaurants and eating joints operating in and around the city, it seems that the trend of eating out is fastbecoming part and parcel of people in Nagpur. Moreover, the number of footfall in these restaurants and eating joints also shows that the trend is growing every passing day. According to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authorities, the city has total of 3128 restaurant out of which 1186 are license holder and 1942 are registered owners. In addition to these facilities, there are number of ‘dhabas’ located in the outskirts to the city. Interestingly, most of these points witness full occupancy on weekends and at some places long queues of customers can be spotted.
“Yes, people love to eat out specially on weekends and special occasions. It is mainly because of the urban lifestyle of people wherein they get very less time to be with their family and friends,” said Dilip Kamdar, who is in the hotel business for about 40 years. Kamdar said eating out has always been a cherished moment for every family Kamdar highlighted that he opened Navidyam Hotel at Jhasi Rani Square in 1979. “ After its success, we opened up ‘Uttar Dakshin’ on Mount Road in Sadar. And now, we will be starting second branch of ‘Uttar Dakshin’ at Pratap Nagar Square,” Kamdar said adding that the industry is growing at a rapid pace. Kamdar also said that foodies have their own social networking groups where they share information about new eating joints. “In order to help people search for restaurants with distinct flavour there is a group on Facebook with 70,000 members called Nagpur Foodies.
The members share information about restaurants they have visited and give their feedback about the food they have experienced,” Kamdar said. Rajesh Sharma, Proprietor of Panditain’s Dhabha on Kamptee Road said, “With the number of people arriving here from different cities going up, demand for continental, Chinese, Mexican and even Spanish food varieties has also seen rise.” Apart form this, Sharma said that people do not hesitate to eat outside as many restaurants maintain high standards of hygiene and provide quality food at a very competitive rates.
Tejinder Singh Renu, President of Nagpur Residential Hotels Association, said more families, couples and other groups are seen enjoying meals at various restaurants. However, Bhawanishankar Dave, President of Nagpur Hotel Owners Association, has a different opinion on this matter. He pointed out that increase in the number of street food vendors has brought down the restaurants’ business by 40 per cent. “Vendors do not have any overhead expenses and hence they offer food at a very low price. These eating joints are posing big threat for the restaurants,” he felt. Rakesh Thakre, one of the foodies said, “Going out with family or with friends is always a good experience. All the members in my family love it,” he said.