The coronavirus outbreak enforced lockdown has put paid to eating out. As the world grapples with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyday interaction with the outside world, be it in public and retail spaces, restaurants, educational institutions, and even with each other, has been reoriented for the sake of personal hygiene and public health.
These post-COVID sensibilities are leading to major enduring changes in how the country’s food service industry is expected to operate.
Based on a recent consumer survey by India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform, Dineout, Indian diners are now ranking safety assurance and premier hygiene as top factors when they choose a restaurant to dine in.
The report published by Dineout saw across 20 cities choosing their priorities while shortlisting a restaurant to dine out in a post-COVID world.
People were largely inclined towards contactless dining–it does away with the need to touch the menu or bills at dine-in and offers to place tables at least one meter apart from each other. As many as 81 percent consumers would rather scan a QR on their phone to place an order instead of handling physical menus or tablet-based digital menus, but over 96 percent demand better waitlist management
Digital payments were preferred for the dining experience with 60 percent preferring seamless wallet-based digital payments over cash/cards. As many as 85 percent would also rather choose a digital valet over waiting in possibly contaminated public spaces.
What do people want to eat?
The report also revealed that most of India has been craving pizza since the lockdown has been implemented, except Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata where their popular and indigenous Biryani recipes reign supreme.
Eating out with family, friends
Around 77 percent respondents claimed that they are waiting to dine out with friends and family once the COVID-19 lockdown is lifted. Bangaloreans missed going to pubs while Delhitties picked vegetarian food over non-vegetarian. Bangaloreans and Lucknowis would rather have their drinks over food.
Besides the new parameters for restaurant selection, the factors deciding consumer delight have also seen a major overhaul as hygiene takes precedence. Consumers would prefer that the total number of reservations in a certain period be limited with the option to pre-select the seating, ample amounts of sanitisers at tables along with UV sanitised utensils whenever possible.
Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO – Dineout said, “Restaurants will have to rethink their daily operations to suit these post-COVID demands of their customers. While demand will return rapidly as millions of Indians are craving their favorite dishes, it’s also crucial to make the necessary changes to restore consumer confidence and trust by rapidly evolving the restaurant’s approach to using technology as means to implement Contactless Dining . These new adaptations will push the envelope of diner convenience, and we believe they are here to stay even after we survive the physical & economic after-effects of the pandemic.”
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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2020 11:37:35 IST