RESTAURANTS - Cancelling the Reservations
India Today|June 22, 2020
RESTAURANTS - Cancelling the Reservations
Hit hard by the pandemic, India’s restaurant industry is trying hard to survive and keep its chin up
Chumki Bharadwaj

The COVID-19 pandemic has given new meaning to ‘survival’. When speaking to leaders of the restaurant business, it’s a word that gets employed often. The coronavirus has, of course, hit all industries hard, but the restaurant trade, one that hinges on people’s mobility and spending capacities, has been dealt a blow that seems altogether extraordinary. With experts predicting that 35 per cent of India’s restaurants might now shut shop, the country’s Rs 3.78 lakh crore restaurant industry is faced with an unprecedented turmoil, while the future of its seven million-plus employees is, sadly, precarious.

Little Bite Foods, a company that runs airport eating outlets and also standalone restaurants, has surely felt corona’s pinch, but Rohit Aggarwal, its co-founder, says that the virus’s effects are not even. “The market is not a level playing field, yes, but all businesses will have to adapt and evolve and change,” he says. Making the case that only “responsible” operators will regain the “trust” of customers, Aggarwal points to Instapizza. The Indian homegrown pizza brand has now introduced Crustflix, a live-stream that gives customers a 24/7 view of their kitchen. Their claims of hourly temperature checks can now be verified in real time. You can see staff wash their hands for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. To ensure that the last mile of delivery is as hygienic, Instapizza has also hired its own delivery fleet, TrustBrigade.

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June 22, 2020