As the disruptive effects of this pandemic slowly but steadily subside, we are witnessing the restaurant industry rise out of the ashes like a phoenix. While there are many reasons like the adoption of hygiene measures, contactless dining technology to thank for the quick turnaround, one cannot deny the contribution of takeaway as a business model in reviving the industry.
One of the best attributes of a takeaway business is that it can be adopted by restaurants with dine-in facilities and cloud kitchens alike. And there cannot be a more suitable time for a restaurateur to dive into this business model. Consumers are already opting for takeaway food services to spice up their dull lives.
Pivoting of restaurant business models
In India, takeaway & drive-throughs were around 1% of the overall organised restaurant industry as compared to 15% to 20% in the US and European market during the Pre-COVID days. Over the next six months, it is expected to go up to 15%. According to a report by the RedSeer Management Consulting, the Indian appetite for takeaway food services is projected to be a $2 billion industry by 2024.
Jubilant Food, which holds the master franchise for Domino's Pizza in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, reported 56% year over year growth in Takeaway during their Q1 Earnings call.
The key enabler of an efficient takeaway & drive-through food service is technology. Takeaway business possesses very little scope for error as the diners are focused solely on the food quality. The icing on the cake is that diners can pre-order their meals that further reduces the wait-time. inresto is making this possible for major malls across the country.
One such brand taking this business model to new heights is DLF Cyberhub. Restaurants present on the property have partnered with inresto to innovate their services and cater to the diners new needs. These diners mostly comprise of families, couples and small groups of friends experiencing the locked-down fatigue. They drive in, scan the QR code at the entrance that gives them access to the digital menu, place their order and quickly collect their order from the pick-up point.
Takeaway: The Knight in the shining armor
Five-star hotels delivering food at your doorstep, an unheard concept, is a stark reality today. For the longest time, the Indian restaurant industry played it safe. Sticking to the basics about 75% of the organised restaurants operated with the Dine-in model and very few dabbled with home delivery and Takeaway. But at present, they have an opportunity to hit a home run.
Numbers never lie. A CGA Peach report pointed out that in 2019, more than 50 per cent of the adult population in Britain had their food delivered to their doorstep. That's about 28.6 million people. Restaurants across the world have started acknowledging the increasing appetite for home delivery and takeaway, while Dine-in picks up a steady pace. This change in behaviour has a significant impact on the market and indicates faster recovery.
Future of the restaurant sector in India
When we ponder upon the future of the F&B industry, we must stop first to assess the needs of the consumers. Is this a need that they can do without for a long time or give up altogether? The answer is no. Human beings are social creatures. It’s in their DNA to communicate and partake in social events and gatherings. So as long as we are humans, we cannot do without the F&B industry. It is important to have a positive outlook. As lockdown subsides and life starts resembling some normalcy, we see diners stepping out for leisure. And that’s the promising sign here. There still is a need for good times, just with an added layer of safety.
This has been made possible by the premium hygiene standards and contactless dining technology at restaurants. Our end to end contactless dining product suite enables these restaurants to remove non-essential human interaction, thereby making it safe for diners as well as staff. While the dine-in model is rallying ahead steadily, other business models like takeaway are proving their mettle as diners look for a variety of food services options. The valuable insight here is that diners have reached a saturation point with respect to home-cooked food and are looking for restaurants to cater to their needs. It is now upon restaurateurs to recognise this and take immediate action.