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How new verticals in home-delivery and takeaway space are helping restaurants tide over COVID crisis

Nov 30, 2020 11:15 AM IST

Increasing business during the pandemic landscape may sound strange, as the food and beverage industry is struggling to find its feet, but some verticals trying to fuel this industry have inadvertently received an impetus for growth.

 The food and beverage industry has clearly evolved since the emergence of the pandemic and several allied verticals are actually helping restaurants navigate their business. Restaurants have turned to digital POS solutions, food delivery has become a necessity driving increased packaging demand for biodegradable options and in-venue F&B customer-engagement technology platforms are busier than ever.

Prashant Issar, Founder, Ishaara, Mumbai, acquiesces, “The hospitality industry is the worst hit and so any evolution will only help. New verticals in the home-delivery and take-away space will help tide over the storm for many. As an entrepreneur, I am programmed to look at any new situation as a time of extraordinary opportunities, and so I'm forever keen to see innovation and new products. In addition to entrepreneurs, the challenging environment has resulted in job losses thereby forcing people to self-employment. Hence, all the boxes of the Ansoff's matrix are being populated, as we speak. The last 8-10 months have seen it all, from essentials manufacturing and distribution; hand-made, home-made goods; innovating on existing products and the list goes on.”

Emergence of new food businesses and local restaurants launching their own delivery apps and platforms are commonplace in the backdrop of the pandemic. The online food business emerged as the easiest and fastest way of earning and many jumped on the bandwagon, especially home chefs and entrepreneurs. Restaurants too have ramped up their takeaway and delivery offerings and adopted new marketing strategies to target consumers. Many have built their own online-ordering mechanisms or mobile apps, while others have partnered with delivery aggregators.

Five-star hotels who were never a part of takeaway and delivery, have also succumbed.  Paul Kinny, Director of Culinary, St. Regis Mumbai, reiterates, “This has given rise to the requirement for allied partners and vendors who provide the much-needed support. We have also started implementing varied new protocols that require equipment and apps that were not required earlier. These are the need of the hour to ensure that our guests get a feeling of safety and comfort while dining at our property.”

As demand has increased, so has supply. Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) for instance, launched Qmin, a mobile app for a repertoire of culinary experiences, delivering signature dishes from Taj Hotels in Mumbai in June 2020, followed by other cities.