Rough patch for restaurants likely to continue amid COVID-19 crisis

Published: 14 September, 2020 15:41 IST | IANS | Mumbai

Only 34 per cent citizens are likely to consume restaurant food in the next two months and most of them will order food at home instead of going for a dine out

A waiter wearing a protective face shield takes an order at a restaurant in Skopje. Pic/AFP
A waiter wearing a protective face shield takes an order at a restaurant in Skopje. Pic/AFP

Only 28 per cent citizens say they have consumed restaurant food in the last 60 days, and most did it by ordering the food at home, according to a survey by Local Circles.

Only 34 per cent citizens are likely to consume restaurant food in the next two months and most of them will order food at home instead of going for a dine out. The survey findings show that the struggle for restaurants will likely continue for longer than initially expected.

There have been reports that many restaurants and cafes have shut down shops as they were unable to recover even their operational costs due to lack of customers. Many others have said that they are barely hanging on. Restaurants are also seeking permissions from the government to start 'al fresco' or open air dining to ensure social distancing and minimise the risk of the virus spread.

It has been three months since restaurants became operational and although the industry was quite happy with the decision, consumers have largely stayed away from eating out due to the Covid-19 fear.

A recent study by the Centre for Disease Control, USA has said that adults who tested positive for Covid-19 in July in America were twice as likely to have visited a restaurant or a coffee shop in the last 14 days.

On consuming restaurant food, in response, two per cent said they visited restaurants several times to eat out and three per cent said they visited restaurants just a few times. Another two per cent said they didn't visit a restaurant, but did home delivery of restaurant food several times while 21 per cent said they didn't visit a restaurant, but did home delivery of restaurant food a few times (20 per cent). A total of 72 per cent said they neither visited a restaurant nor did home delivery of restaurant food.

This means that only 28 per cent citizens say they have consumed restaurant food in the last 60 days, and most did it by ordering the food at home.

For the next 60 days, three per cent said they plan to visit restaurants several times to eat out and six per cent said they plan to visit restaurants just a few times to eat out. Three per cent said they had no plans to visit a restaurant, but will do home delivery of restaurant food several times, while 22 per cent said they have no plans to visit a restaurant, but will do home delivery of restaurant food a few times. Sixty-four per cent said they have no plans to visit a restaurant nor do home delivery of restaurant food.

This shows that only 34 per cent citizens are likely to consume restaurant food in the next two months and most of them will order food at home instead of going for a dine out.

Citizens are concerned about catching the Covid-19 infection in restaurants and cafes as they are frequented by a variety of people. Studies indicate that restaurants are most prone to virus spread because of the droplets generated while consuming food and the possibility of air transmission to others because of the centralised air conditioning system.

The results clearly indicate that most people prefer ordering Indian cuisine much more than international cuisine in India. This is especially true when it comes to tier 2, 3 and 4 towns where international food choices are limited or non-existent.

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