The food delivery business has largely recovered by 75-80 per cent, said the “Indian Restaurant Industry ~ Mid Covid-19 Report” from Zomato’s poll “in recent days of thousands of restaurants and customers across India.”

Recovery trends are strong for food deliverers, according to the Zomato analysis. The industry is expected to hit preCovid-19 levels of business in the next two to three months.

But while the food delivery industry is recovering, the restaurant business of dining out continues to struggle. A horrendous forty per cent of eateries are expected to shut down, estimates Zomato. One of the better known India-origin brands globally, a former Bain & Co consultant Deepinder Goyal founded Zomato in Delhi 12 years ago.

Since May this pandemic year, Zomato has expanded to Turkey, Portugal, New Zealand and Australia to be one of the world’s largest food aggregators, with presence in 24 countries and more than 10,000 cities.

The global food delivery business is expected to reach $8 billion market value by 2022, according to a Boston Consulting Group and Google report.

But the other restaurant industry component of dining out is not likely to contribute much in this period. Even in cities where restrictions have been lifted in India, the few restaurants open for business are running at low capacity.

Kolkata (29 per cent) had most restaurants open in India, followed by Hyderabad (21 per cent), Bengaluru (19 per cent), Delhi NCR (12 per cent) and Chennai (9 per cent). Mumbai has not yet allowed dining out to resume.

“Some areas in some cities are clocking higher gross merchandise value (GMV) than before ~ affluent neighbourhoods no longer fear contagion from food delivery, and are combining home entertainment with outside food,” the Zomato poll found. Residential areas are doing 50 per cent better than commercial areas, with restaurants in and around commercial districts expected to take the longest to recover. Out of the 83 per cent of restaurants not open for business, 10 per cent have permanently shut down. Zomato anticipates an additional 30 per cent of restaurants not reopening at all. Home food delivery is keeping the “outside food” industry alive. Zomato said it has delivered seven crore food orders since lockdown began in March. “Indians have ordered 20 crore times since the lockdown,” its analysts said.

“There have been zero reported cases of Covid-19 transmission due to food delivery.” Safety and hygiene have now become a permanent addition to the customer’s decision-making model, Zomato found. Other changes in the new restaurant dining experience include staff wearing masks, tables arranged at a distance and digital menus. International markets “paint an optimistic picture”, according to Zomato, with the dining out business in New Zealand, UAE and Portugal returning to pre-Covid levels. But recovery in India “will be slow and largely driven by the industry’s ability to build back consumer confidence”.

ZOMATO SURVEY FINDINGS:

  • Recovery trends are strong for food deliverers, according to the Zomato analysis. The industry is expected to hit pre-Covid19 levels of business in the next two to three months.
  • However, the restaurant business of dining out continues to struggle. A horrendous forty per cent of eateries are expected to shut down, estimates Zomato.
  • Even in cities where restrictions have been lifted in India, the few restaurants open for business are running at low capacity.
  • Out of the 83 per cent of restaurants not open for business, 10 per cent have permanently shut down. Zomato anticipates an additional 30 per cent of restaurants not reopening at all.