Udipi Restaurants downing shutters
Udipi restaurants, world famous for their affordable veggie fare, especially the 'rice thali', draw inspiration from the coastal Karnataka temple town of Udupi. They are slowly going out of fashion. Over 200 have closed in the past two years, and business is down 50-70 per cent.
- Rising rents, overheads, VAT
- Staff shortages. Fewer migrants to Mumbai from Karnataka because job opportunities are better at home.
- Changing tastes. Many customers now prefer the A/C fast-food joints.
- Original clientele in south Bombay, tempted by rising real-estate prices, has moved to the suburbs.
- Bank automation, online trading facilities means the client base in the business district has shrunk.
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What should they do to keep the fire on?
The answer ain't simple.
Adapt or maybe even reinvent and come up with a new avatar to appeal to the changing demographics.
An overhaul is needed. What form must it take remains a million dollar question.