With the surge of Covid situation once again, the food business is mostly back to delivery module again. Local restrictions are in place for night curfews and food delivery aggregators are seeing a much rise in delivery. They have even taken necessary steps even to increase delivery fleet. Zomato and Swiggy are having the state government permission to deliver food as it comes under essential services. 

Harsh Champawat, Director of Food & Beverage, Taj Palace, New Delhi says “Qmin brings you Qurated dishes offering a variety of your favourite Quisines; delivered at your doorstep in the comfort and convenience of your home. The Qmin App brings signature dishes of our iconic restaurants at your fingertips. While the App delivers to serviceable locations within 12 km radius, we do deliver across NCR as well for which orders can be placed on call. With our extended delivery hours, we are currently accepting late orders until midnight till 10th January 2022. Besides, the service will be functional even during the weekend curfew. In In addition to menus from Spicy Duck, Capital Kitchen and Masala Art, we also offer a host of interesting curated menu selections on Qmin like Holiday Soirée, Q-kids and more. The experience is fully customisable and can be done for virtual meetings, virtual celebrations, virtual weddings and more”

The main challenge for brands is understanding of demand patterns. With dinner accounting to maximum part of the sale in any restaurant, people are just left to the relay on deliveries. With weekend curfew in Delhi and night curfew in Dellhi-NCR the restaurant-ordering platforms see thriving business. Spokesperson, ITC HOTELS further adds saying “ITC HOTELS launched multitude initiatives during the pandemic. First and foremost, we focused on guest and associate safety. Replacing anxiety with assurance, ITC Hotels further elevated its existing health, hygiene and safety norms under the We Assure programme for worry free experiences. Gourmet Couch-our Food Delivery model received a very good response and have also launched the Biryani and Pulao collection. Coming from kitchens of ITC Hotels this particular offering has been a favourite with diners.  All these initiatives fulfil guest expectations in the new normal. In some ways Covid-19 pushed the need for innovation and  digitisation and these new business models are definitely here to stay and are playing a huge role in hospitality”.

In Delhi, The National Restaurants’ Association of India (NRAI) has asked food delivery service to be treated as an essential service. With reduction in in-house dining Zorawar Kalra Director, Massive Restaurants that owns cloud kitchens also like Butter and Louis burger says “There is going to be a very huge surge in delivery when there is a curfew or a lockdown. We are retrofitting two kitchens to start delivery. Louis burger will be geared up for serious increase in volumes and we are extending delivery hours till 3am. We are also ramping up new cloud Kitchen openings and also providing backups for order delays by hiring our own delivery partners.

The food delivery army has buckled up knowing that it’s gonna be hectic few days for them. Restaurants and delivery partners are being hopeful and overwhelmed with the demand and keeping all road safety and Covid gears in mind each one is doing their share of work to overcome this time. Sonale Zagade, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Gurgaon says – ever since the restrictions have been announced, we have witnessed a surge in our online food deliveries via our aggregator like Zomato, Swiggy along with direct deliveries. We are catering with a wide range of cuisines along with a personalized crafted which are also reasonably priced be it the breakfast selection, fresh bakery products and more.  Maintaining all hygiene standards and sanitation protocols, safe packaging, contactless delivery and payments, we believe being safe and responsible is our first priority!

With restaurant owners worried about shutting business early and the loss it will most restaurateurs find console in home delivery module. It’s also important to understand the demand pattern during curfew mode. Laurent Samandari, CEO and Co-Founder of L'Opéra "We have marked slowdown of traffic at our outlets while deliveries have gone up. However, as the orders of authorities are clarified, the opening hours and permitted activities determined, we expect the deliveries to increase. To this end we have geared up our back-end and in-house delivery infrastructure (our own vehicles, drivers and website) - in addition to that of aggregators - to cope with the necessary demand and to satisfy the need for doorstep deliveries. It is our understanding that take-away sales will be allowed at our outlets, since we belong to the category of essential  goods and products, though the number of visitors will certainly be lower than in the recent past.

It's not just in Delhi but also in other cities restaurants and pubs are facing hard times. New and fresh restrictions are impacting consumer sentiments but it’s great to see how brands are just getting innovative in their delivery pattern and taking all possible means to woo the consumers.  Amit bagga ,Co-founder Daryaganj says that restrictions and curfew significantly impact the restaurant industry negatively. Deliveries will surely go up but for dine in restaurants like us which have high fixed costs and rev share with malls and commissions to aggregators will suffer major losses. Deliveries are again the in thing and keeping that in mind we conceptualised our 5 senses delivery box during last lockdown. This is gonna be based on evoking the 5 sense as you dine in home. As customers don’t get the same experience when they order food, we evaluated the same and came to conclusion that reason is that normal Food delivery doesn’t touch their senses. Thus, we began working on the concept where Food Delivery can touch all their 5 senses. We thought the same of Restaurant feel at home. Our dine-in experience is a blend of what our five senses that will involve the taste of the food, fragrance of the restaurant, soothing music in the background, touch and feel of the crockery and the look of the vibrant interiors. We were wanting to create At Par experience with our Delivery concept”.  

In spite of a collective anxiety amongst F&B space, Capital’s eateries have yet all geared up for this time. The whole hospitality industry is very careful about strictly following all protocols for the sake of public safety. Executive Chef, Gagandeep Singh Sawhney Shangri-La Eros New Delhi is of the opinion “With the launch of Shangri-La Cares, the Group’s global safety program, the hotel elevates its already rigorous hygiene and safety protocols. We have curated a special self-pickup and home delivery program ‘Shangri-La To Go’. The menu is packed with favourites from its signature award-winning restaurants. The culinary team has also curated a weekend set menu. These brunches are designed to be enjoyed with loved ones in the comfort of one’s home. Guest can avail self-pickup or safe no-contact home delivery options and via delivery partners. With all reinforced food safety standards, new buffet protocols, and menus we are seeing a good response.

Saying of that curfew is gonna be there for few more days and restaurateurs trying to put their best foot forward Mr Dhiraj Shetty, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Sana di ge Delhi “Now with the third wave almost upon us, we are more focussed than before on the food deliveries. Within the radius of 10km we are not levying any delivery charges but above that we do depending on distance.  Presently we are delivering all over Delhi, Gurgaön and Noida and we haven’t kept any minimum order value. We have been adhering to all the prescribed Covid protocols”. 

With more fresh guidelines being awaited let’s enjoy your gourmet meal at the comfort of your home.