Wake-up Call
Business Today|June 27, 2021
AS BUSINESS CAME TO A STANDSTILL DURING LAST YEAR’S LOCKDOWN, FOOD RETAIL COMPANIES AND RESTAURANTS EMBRACED TECHNOLOGY TO STAY AFLOAT
AJITA SHASHIDHAR

₹4.23 LAKH CRORE

Size of India’s foodservice industry

₹1.48 LAKH CRORE

Share of organised food service

Mumbai-based fine-dining restaurant, Bombay canteen’s mother’s day brunch, along with fancy cocktails and music, is something many upmarket residents of maximum city look forward to every year. However, for the second consecutive year, mother’s day had to be celebrated indoors because of the lockdown. Since restaurants are allowed to do home deliveries this time round, Bombay canteen founders Sameer Seth and Yash Bhanage saw an opportunity in recreating their signature mother’s day brunch experience at their patrons’ homes.

They created a mother’s day brunch box, which had a pre-curated menu that was delivered to guests who ordered from them. The highlight of the brunch box was a Qr code, which took guests to a Spotify playlist — they could play their favourite music as they relished their brunch. Similarly, for Bombay Sweet Store, their high-end sweet retail brand, the duo decided to have an Instagram poll on what should be the Mother’s Day signature ice cream flavour this year. Instagrammers voted for their popular Gymkhana Cold Coffee ice cream, and they launched limited-edition Gymkhana Cold Coffee tubs.

F&B DYNAMICS

The pandemic has led to a bloodbath in the restaurant and food retail industry. Around 30 per cent restaurants have closed down and job losses are at 40 per cent

Seth and Bhanage admit that had it not been for the pandemic, creating a fancy homedelivery experience would never have been their priority. “Delivery was an afterthought,” says Seth. “We as restaurateurs were comfortable with brick-and-mortar. When we were making money, we didn’t worry about technology. The lockdown has accelerated our focus on technology. It will only get better,” adds Bhanage.

Reality Bites

The pandemic has been an eye-opener for the ₹4.2-lakh crore restaurant and food retail industry. It introduced them to a truth they had conveniently overlooked — adopt digital as a way of life or perish. The writing on the wall was clear almost six years ago when aggregators such as Swiggy and Zomato surfaced. Consumers overnight switched to the comfort of placing their food orders on an app rather than calling up the restaurant to place an order. Despite losing their home-delivery business to Swiggy and Zomato, restaurateurs didn’t bother too much until the lockdown brought business to a grinding halt and aggregators slapped them with commissions as steep as 30 per cent. It left restaurateurs with hardly any room for profits. “It was like the frog in hot water. We didn’t realise we got too late,” says Riyaz Amlani, Managing Director, Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality (which owns chains such as Social, Salt Water Grill and Smokehouse Deli) and President, National Restaurant Association of India.

“Customers prefer aggregators as they get great deals from them, but all these deals are being given by restaurants. We are paying heavily to aggregators for services they provide, and we are not connecting with our customers or building relationships,” adds A.D. Singh, Founder and Managing Director, Olive Group of Restaurants (which owns formats such as Olive Bar & Kitchen, SodaBottleOpenerWala, Monkey Bar and Fatty Bao).

The last year has seen every restaurant or food retail company launch their own digital platform. They have partnered with Shopify, Shoptimize, DotPe and Thrive, who help them not just power their respective platforms, but also market their brands. The goal is to reduce dependence on aggregators and take charge of the delivery business. After all, from a mere 5-10 per cent of revenues in the pre-pandemic era, home delivery is likely to contribute 2530 per cent of overall revenues of restaurants and food retail companies. They certainly don’t want to let that go out of their hands by paying steep commissions to aggregators. Also, restaurants end up paying an additional 5-7 per cent as marketing fee to aggregators, taking their overall pay-out to aggregators between 35-40 per cent per order.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BUSINESS TODAYView All

Wake-up Call

AS BUSINESS CAME TO A STANDSTILL DURING LAST YEAR’S LOCKDOWN, FOOD RETAIL COMPANIES AND RESTAURANTS EMBRACED TECHNOLOGY TO STAY AFLOAT

10 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

Remote Care

THE PANDEMIC HAS FAST-TRACKED ADOPTION OF SMART HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS GLOBALLY

5 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

IT For A New World

HOW THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY IS LOOKING TO SERVICE A WORLD WITH NEW RULES, HABITS AND BEHAVIOUR

7 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

Marriage of Convenience

FROM DISRUPTERS TO PARTNERS, THE FINTECH-BANK RELATIONSHIP HAS COME A LONG WAY. WHAT IS THE NEXT LEVEL OF THIS PARTNERSHIP?

9 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

Highways Sans Toll Plazas

FUTURE TOLL COLLECTION WILL BE BASED ON GLOBAL POSITIONING TECHNOLOGY. A PILOT PROJECT IS ALREADY ON WITH 500 VEHICLES

7 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

Classes Go Hi-Tech

HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS TRANSFORMED THE WAY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS FUNCTION

8 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

Big Data's Healing Touch

HOW AI AND DATA ANALYTICS ARE CHANGING HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY DYNAMICS

10 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

Digital Key To Pandemic Response

Technology has emerged as the lifeline of societies and economies

3 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

The Future Is Electric

The pandemic has not impacted the electric vehicle story adversely. In fact, it may have accelerated the shift

10+ mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021

The 5G Dilemma

The pandemic has opened a fresh debate around the future of 5G in india. Infrastructure requirements could further delay its launch

7 mins read
Business Today
June 27, 2021
RELATED STORIES

EX-TEACHER BUSTED FOR DUMPING ON RIVALS

A RETIRED high school teacher is in deep doo-doo after cops cited him for repeatedly relieving himself in his neighbor’s yard!

1 min read
Globe
June 28, 2021

ROBERT DUVALL, 90, PLANS DREAM BABY!

Wants first child to secure legacy

1 min read
Globe
June 28, 2021

SAJAK, 74, WANTS HIS MOJO BACK!

Aging Wheel host dyes hair & plans plastic surgery to win younger fans

2 mins read
Globe
June 28, 2021

LAUER'S HEARING WEDDING BELLS!

DISGRACED Matt Lauer has put his TV comeback on the back burner to focus on a fall wedding with Shamin Abas, sources say.

1 min read
Globe
June 28, 2021

I DIDN'T KNOW HIS GUN WAS LOADED!

Socialite’s latest explanation for killing top cop

2 mins read
Globe
June 28, 2021

MAXWELL'S TORMENT IN PRISON HELL HOLE!

Gruesome ordeal designed to make Epstein madam take a plea deal

2 mins read
Globe
June 28, 2021

MY GRANDPARENTS' GHOSTS TOLD ME TO SELL OUT MOB!

Mafia turncoat John Pennisi’s odd confession

2 mins read
Globe
June 28, 2021

FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES!

Gator gnaws diver’s head as he hunts for ancient shark teeth

1 min read
Globe
June 28, 2021

F. LEE BAILEY'S TWISTED SECRET LIFE!

Dream Team bulldog died bitter,disbarred drunk – and broke

2 mins read
Globe
June 28, 2021

AIRBUS-BOEING DEAL EASES US EU TENSIONS BUT CONFLICTS REMAIN

The deal the United States and the European Union reached this week to end their long-running rift over subsidies to Boeing and Airbus will suspend billions in punitive tariffs. It will ease trans-Atlantic tensions. And it will let the two sides focus on a common economic threat: China.

5 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #503