NY party? For Bengaluru, it was home, shanti home

By Sudeshna Dutta

Sec 144 played party pooper for local pubs and restaurants; but food delivery platforms registered an all-time high

On New Year’s Eve, Section 144 did not deter the party animals in Bengaluru. All it did was domesticate us a bit, as we took the party home. Food aggregators and meat and sea-food sites were on their toes as the orders came flying thick and fast.

“Our overall business on December 31 was thrice that it was the same day last year. Our ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat categories emerged clear winners, with 1/4th of the total business coming from the ready-to-cook category alone, on NYE. Our meat and seafood-based spreads recorded a significant jump in sales volume too. Purani Dilli Ki Mutton Seekh Kebab and the Sunday Roast Chicken were our highest selling products,” says Meghna Apparao, Chief Business Officer, Licious.

Shan Kadavil, CEO and co-founder of FreshToHome, says their barbecue products were the most sought after items since December 20. “Business in the last week of December proved that Bengaluru wanted to stay at home and party. The ready-to-cook segment has recorded almost 10 per cent of our overall revenue in the city, which is a huge leap as compared to last year,” says Kadavil, adding that items like butter chicken gravy and ghee roast chicken were the most-ordered items. “Some people like to give a twist to the already marinated chicken with ingredients from their own kitchen. On December 31, 2019, this segment got us only 2 per cent of our business. However, times have changed now,” he says.

With DIY cheese/chocolate fondue kits and grazing boxes, Foodhall at 1 MG Mall also turned out to be a crowd-puller in the ready-to-eat category. Says Shashank Lohia, Head-marketing, Foodhall, “These products helped people create a nice spread of appetisers at home. This category saw a 10-12 per cent growth in the last 10 days as compared to last year.”

Take it away

Chef Vikas Seth, Culinary Director, Embassy Leisure, says cloud kitchens and restaurants saw a massive spurt of home deliveries this time. “Pizzas and biryani were the most favourite items of choice. We even had someone who placed an order of Rs 35,000 for takeaway at one of our outlets,” says Seth.

Home delivery saved the day for Goila’s Butter Chicken too. “Almost 80 per cent of the business took place through such orders before 8 pm. After that, the executives had a hard time coming to our outlet on Brigade Road due to numerous cops on the streets,” says Vishal Nagpal, co-founder, A2Z Hospitality LLP.


No-show at pubs

Pubs and restaurants in the city suffered losses due to the many changes in curfew timings.

“People were confused and did not know whether to venture out. A lot of reservations got cancelled on December 31, and we had no choice but to shut our doors by 10.30 pm due to the curfew,” says Darshan Kota, partner, Koramingle, adding that the evenings were usually dull throughout the week as people chose to eat out during the day.

The average business in JP Nagar, where several new outlets have opened, was only around 30-35 per cent, which is way too thinner than what we expect on NYE, says Naveen Reddy, managing partner, Khmer Kitchen. “People who went to pubs or restaurants were skeptical about the situation at night, so they left early,” he says.

Amit Ahuja, owner of The Open Box, Lucky Chan and Misu, says although all seats were occupied at his outlets, he could manage only one batch of customers.

“Earlier, I had thought of hosting two batches of guests — one at 7.30 pm and other at 9.30 pm. People only walked in for the 7.30 pm slot as most of them wanted to go home early,” he says, adding that they witnessed a 75 per cent drop in revenue as compared to last year’s NYE.

Reservoir in Koramangala saw an almost 60 per cent drop in sales than what they usually register every NYE, adds Prathik Shetty, the founder.

Prasanna Kumar, founder, Blr Brewing Co in Electronics City, says his business suffered both due to the curfew and the location. “Our customers are mostly from the IT offices, and since, most of them have moved away, we saw around 20 per cent occupancy. Also, people were scared to venture out and we weren’t able to convince them that those with reservation passes were allowed to travel,” he says.

CBD, worst-hit

Chethan Hegde, of the chain 1522 bars, says although there were reservations, Central Bengaluru was badly hit among other hubs.

“The place was blocked with barricades and the police were on the roads, making it difficult for people to move around. 1522 on Residency Road hardly saw any customers due to this reason,” says Hegde. Agrees Seth, who says Sriracha and Sanchez in UB City saw a lot of walk-ins during lunch time. “Normally, this is not the case on December 31. People wait till midnight to celebrate at pubs. This year, covid changed all plans,” he says.

Source link


Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply

Close Bitnami banner