COVID-19 has impacted the F&B industry like never before in the history of mankind. Restaurants are struggling to get back to their feet by gradually adapting to the new normal. As the lockdown is lifted in most of the Indian cities, restaurants are welcoming the people for dine-in services.
Dineout, India’s largest reservation and restaurant tech platform, has recovered 60 percent of its business compared to pre-COVID times. Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad are moving fastest towards normalcy with a 70 percent recovery rate projected to be achieved in this festive quarter, followed by Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur and Hyderabad with a 55 percent recovery rate. Mumbai and Pune that opened up last week have seen a promising 10-fold increase in diner count compared to the previous week’s numbers.
This growth curve can be credited to restaurants that are leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of their customers and staff. Restaurants are promoting QR Code driven digital menus as well as digital payments to minimise contact at the outlets. As per Dineout partner data, 65 percent partner restaurants have already switched to QR code based digital menus in the last 3 months. Mobile ordering is expected to grow further as more consumers view mobile ordering a safer and convenient option.
Ankit Mehrotra, CEO & Co-founder, Dineout, commenting on the update, “It’s amazing to see restaurants aligning their operations to the new normal and adapting to new strategies to secure a strong comeback. We’ve recovered 60 percent of our pre-COVID business numbers and expect to reach 100 percent by the end of this year. The use of digital payments via Dineout pay at partnered restaurants have also increased to 80 percent as more and more users are opting for digital means for settling the bill.”
Restaurants are paving the way by introducing new and innovative initiatives to make it #SafeToEatOut again for their customers while attributing utmost importance to social distancing and hygiene.
Robot Experience – Restaurants like Robot (Porur) and Moti Mahal – Robot Themed Restaurant in Chennai, Robot Restaurant in Bengaluru and Jaipur are serving food with the help of robots to reduce the human contact. People can enjoy an unforgettable robot experience with exquisite cuisines and mocktails.
Private Dining Pods – Dragonfly restaurant at Aerocity Worldmark, New Delhi ensures a safe dining experience with its specially created private dining pods. These pods are made up of hard acrylic walls and can accommodate a group of 10 to 12 people. People looking for a safe and new experience in times like this can choose to dine-out with family and friends.
Drive-In and Drive-Through Restaurants – People anxious about social distancing within the restaurants can also opt for drive-in and drive-through restaurants across the country. Ping’s Orient in Kolkata and Just FoodInn in Ahmedabad offers diners a special drive-in menu from within the comfort of their own vehicle. At DLF Cyber Hub Gurugram, diners can pre-order food using the Dineout app and choose for self-pickup at these specialty created drive-through.
Food Conveyor: Cloves restaurant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat came up with India’s first Techno-Dining experience. Here food is delivered in covered bowls through a food conveyor right from the kitchen to the customer’s table without any human-contact in between. Customers can pick up their own bowl that has their table numbers mentioned therefore eliminates handling of food in between by stewards.
UV Sterilised Cutlery and Plexiglass Barriers: Mocha and Smokehouse Deli cafe across India are using UV sterilised cutlery wrapped in paper before serving to diners. Along with sterilised cutlery, restaurants have also installed Plexiglass barriers following the social distancing norms while serving clean and hygienic food to its customers.
Nano Disinfection Treatment – Madras Canteen and Grill in Chennai uses Graphene-based nano disinfection treatment which assures 24*7 anti-viral and anti-bacterial protection to its customers and staff. All surfaces of the entire restaurant including the floors, walls, kitchen cutlery, the counters, food service areas, toilets, lounge bar, smoking zones and the security area are being disinfected on a daily basis.