CHENNAI: With malls, parks and other recreational spaces shut for over 100 days now, Chennaiites now seem to be opting for drives and rides to satiate their ‘outdoor’ cravings. Restaurants along East Coast Road are witnessing a surge in the number of customers reaching the eatery to take away food parcels.
“Though we deliver food through delivery apps, customers, even from far off places, are coming to our restaurant to pick up orders,” said Navtej Singh, owner of Bhangra Punjabi restaurant in Kanathur. Singh adds that all customers opt for a no-contact delivery.
"Most customers do not even pay by card. They pay online, we leave the food in the back seat of their car and they leave. On Saturday, two people came to pick up food for their whole family. This shows that the fear is slowly coming down and the restaurant business is slowly picking up pace."
Though dine-in services were allowed for a few days in the city, the Tamil Nadu Hotel Owners association decided to stop dine-in till the crisis settles a little, to ensure the health of the restaurant staff and customers.
Nasrin Karimi who owns Shiraz Art Cafe in Neelankarai also said she witnessed a surge in demand and that people come from the city to pack the special Shiraz tea. "Tea is a beverage which is usually instantly had. Since we do not have dine-in yet, we our seeing our regular customers coming in to get the tea. Also, it is usually our regular customers who are opting to come since they are confident about the safety protocols being followed."
There is 10-15 per cent increase in the number of customers coming from the city to our branch at ECR, said Samia Sait, owner, Tryst Cafe, Neelankarai. Though the cafe is only open for Gourmet and Bakery, they are still seeing a surge.
Public opine that the reason for this is that they want go out somewhere, some place safe, even if it is just for an hour. Having stayed inside four walls for very long, they want to step out for little and yet stay safe.