NEW DELHI: As the Delhi government has decided to restrict dining at restaurants and bars, the industry in the capital city is facing challenges on all fronts — food and raw material wastage, staff salaries, rentals. The various restaurants and cafes that TNIE talked to, mentioned, they are better prepared than last time, but the move has jolted the already-wobbly business.
QSR chain Biryani Blues, which has 38 outlets in Delhi NCR, will have a pressure of 10-12% on its bottomline, according to its founder Raymond Andrews. This would mainly be in terms of manpower and rentals. In December, the company had crossed pre-Covid sales, but this month, says Andrews, looks bleak.
“We are doing well online, but there is not so much capacity of delivery possible. All dine-in businesses cannot move to delivery because not everyone has the backend service, so you see stores shutting down.”
Chulamas Jitpatima, Country Director, MQDC India, which owns Whiz cafe in Greater Kailash (GK) 2, said they are facing issues with proper sourcing and inventory management.
“While we are much better prepared after the second wave, we are still on our way to developing systems and processes to ensure optimum utilisation of our resources.” While hybrid businesses are getting by, businesses heavily dependent on dine in are bearing the brunt. Gaurav Kanwar, Founder, Harajuku Tokyo Cafe (in Select City Walk and Ambience Mall, Gurugram), says because of the sudden move, restaurants didn’t get time to prepare or plan.
“Since ours is a QSR chain, for us, all the preparation is done in advance and we have weekly schedules to adhere to. Because of this sudden closure, a lot of food is wasted,” says Kanwar. He adds, “We’re mostly dependent on dine-in to take out the salaries and rentals. Online delivery isn’t sufficient on its own, since third party platforms like Zomato charge exorbitant commissions and the volume as compared to walk-ins in a mall, isn’t high either.”
There is also a massive shortage of staff as many have been shifting to other sectors because of the instability, Kanwar notes. Farman Beig, Co-founder & CEO of Wat-a-Burger, which is seeing 60% orders through online delivery, says, “We expect the 100% traction to adopt the online channel until things return to normalcy.”