Covid-19 pandemic has made every other restaurant venturing into online delivery space. We see that even though dining rooms are open people are more comfortable in dining at home.
According to a latest report by the food delivery major Zomato alone has delivered over 70 mn orders, with 200 mn orders expected to be delivered across food delivery aggregators. The food delivery platform also mentioned that it has recovered 70-80% of the pre-covid sales.
Similarly, more and more restaurants are venturing into the delivery space, all thanks to the Dining out industry in India is yet to bounce back and operating at 8-10% of pre-COVID levels.
“Everyone wants to go out and eat as they are tired of sitting at home, some people are just delaying their outings and waiting for things to get better. There is a big surge on weekends of footfall at our restaurants as it’s growing every weekend,’ shared Amit Bagga, Co-Founder, Daryaganj who is also planning to launch a QSR brand to cater to the budget customer.
The reasons for these spikes are obvious. Consumers staying close to home amid the pandemic have flocked to delivery. Strong desire of the patrons or simply consumers, which obviously includes all of us, to avoid contact with other potentially contaminated individuals that could be other guests in a restaurant or mall, the service personnel at the restaurant or third parties during the transport from home to the restaurant and back.
“The ease of ordering online from the comfort of one’s own home which eliminates both above risks, but which comes at the cost of missing the experiential part of “dining” out is one of the reason people are ordering more,” added Kazem Samandari, Chairman, L’opera who has seen a massive increase in delivery orders as compared to the same period last year.
Also, delivery is not everyone’s preferred choice and not everyone can afford it, the country has been facing economical slowdown, unemployment remains in the double-digit.
Despite all this delivery players, restaurant owners and experts have been adamant that people are getting used to the convenience of getting food delivered at home- and the costs.
“Delivery is here to stay as all good establishments that didn’t deliver earlier are delivering now giving the best quality options for delivery it will make sure the fly by night operators in the delivery segment will go out who don’t care about quality and safety,” Bagga further added.
Restaurant majors also predicted and believed that consumer demand for delivery will continue to grow at a fast pace.
“I guess that the sustainable percentage of the restaurant delivery business over time, and once the pandemic has subsided and controlled, will probably amount to 35% - 40% of its peak during the pandemic once things settle down and people find their way back to restaurants and cafés,” Samandari pointed by adding that in the month of July, L’Opéra fulfilled some 9,500 orders of which nearly 900 or 10% were deliveries, however, in terms of value the deliveries represented over 23% of our revenues. In other words, the average value of home delivery orders fulfilled by L’Opéra was two and half times of that of the transactions in the outlets.
Thus, we can say that the future of restaurants consists in a hybrid, so-called “click and mortar” model with technology and other elements playing an increasingly crucial role in the future.