What Does the Future of Dining Out in India Look Like? Restaurateurs Discuss Their Thoughts
The pandemic has affected the business of the food industry. Will dine-in in India make a proper comeback? Read more for further details.
As the Coronavirus pandemic hit the country, many businesses were affected by the lockdown. Especially the food industry had to face huge losses as people would not dine out or order delivery while they were home quarantined. Presenter Devina Gupta from BBC spoke to a few street food vendors and some restaurateurs about how the pandemic affected them. The main question that brings us here is, what is the future of dining out in India?
Food industry gets highly affected by Coronavirus pandemic
The lockdown restrictions in the country have now eased a bit. When the lockdown was announced, restaurants and even street food vendors had to shut their business and go back to their hometowns. Recent reports estimate more than two million job losses, and also indicate that one in four restaurants may never open again. However, in Unlock 5.0, restaurants were permitted to open up and street vendors were allowed to set up their shops again. BBC took a look into the lives of a few street vendors where they spoke about how they had to send away their employees back home since they couldn’t pay them. A fruit vendor Balwant talks about how his shop was often crowded but today there are hardly any customers.
Indians have become more cautious about their eating habits and hygiene. Street food vendors have now set up sanitizer stands and use gloves and masks in order to win their customer’s trust. However, a huge population believes that eating street food might infect them with the virus. During the pandemic, many hotels and cafes were shut down permanently due to high rents that were impossible to pay.
Entrepreneurs Radhika Khandelwal owner of Fig & Maple, Abhinav Jindal, founder of Kimaya Himalayan Beverages LLP, and Kainaz Contractor, owner of Bhawan and Rustom’s discussed the effects of the pandemic on dining out. Kainaz mentioned that since the bars opened up, people spend more time than usual. Abhinav mentioned that the beer industry’s business had gone down with 80 %. However, he added that they are slowly recovering from the losses. Kainaz added that the staff has to take utmost care of their customers both at the back end and in the front staff.
Radhika mentioned that she preferred dine-in customers as she believes it helps restaurants to win the trust of customers. Kainaz, on the other hand, added that her restaurant is still catering only food delivery orders as not enough customers are visiting. Abhinav said that he is quite optimistic that everything will be soon back to normal and dine in will make a comeback.