Lahore, the provincial metropolis, for sure is driving dining trends in the country. For every domestic or global food chain, the city has the attraction primarily due to eating habits of its large population, which welcomes almost every new entrant and seldom rejects any idea.
The key factor that drives eating habits and the rapid expansion of food business is increasing urbanisation. The other reason is the growing middle class that is trying to improve its lifestyle.
Apart from other activities, spending on food with family, friends and for socialising is a major source of entertainment for the city residents.
In the recent past, the introduction of multiplex cinemas by different business groups has provided another source of entertainment and some business gurus have merged the two entertaining factors – food and cinema – into a single entity to provide the people with a pleasant change and shower hefty profits on their businesses.
“The world is changing with each passing day, so are ways of doing business,” said Khurram Gultasab, Deputy General Manager of Super Cinema Multiplex while talking to The Express Tribune.
“People want to spend some quality time coupled with best entertainment with their family and friends and we have endeavoured to provide both.”
At MM Alam Road, which is believed to be the best place for the rich and elite to shop and dine, the company management is operating three multiplex screens along with a food court, which provides vast choices starting from traditional Dahi Bhallas and Desi food to fast food and continental food, Thai and seafood, etc.
Gultasab said the response of the people was overwhelming and in just about a week of the opening of the food court, the management started thinking about expanding the footprints.
“We have provided people with an excellent environment to enjoy movie and food of their choice, this combo is the first of its kind in Pakistan,” he said, adding “we will never sit with this offer for long, we will change it often to surprise our clients.”
The business has applied a simple strategy – provide what is in line with the market trend and make people relax and happy. As a result, “the cinema is snatching crowd from other multiplex cinemas,” he claimed.
Though the company refused to divulge financial details, its revenues were believed to be three times more than other cinemas in the city.
Super Cinema is a sister concern of the Mainland Group of Companies, under which the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club is operating. Ramzan Sheikh, Chief Executive Officer of the club, has sent a team of 17 chefs from the club to the food court in a bid to provide quality food to people.
Apart from the families, the cinema and food court also draw an increasing number of corporate customers. Though some companies like to have meetings in hotels, many others such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi have shown their preference for the restaurant for holding corporate events.
“These clients prefer watching a movie first and then having food which makes them relax and ready to work again. The corporate response is awesome and is beyond our expectations,” Gultasab added.
Super Cinema is now planning to take the food business to other parts of the city and then introduce it in more mega cities as part of a long-term strategy, while offering the same brand names and atmosphere that they provide in the combo.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2014.