Pandemic-hit restaurant chains turn to new strategies to push sales – BusinessLine

Restaurant News
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From venturing into cloud kitchens to bolster their delivery business to offering a curated party experience at home, restaurant chains are looking at various ways to push sales at a time when the pandemic has hit their business severely.

Despite the easing of norms in several States allowing the resumption of dine-in operations, footfalls at restaurants remain rather subdued and additional local-level lockdowns have been challenging.

Cloud kitchen business

Lite Bite Foods, known for brands such as Punjab Grill, Zambar and Asia Seven, ventured into the cloud kitchen business recently. It plans to launch 36 cloud kitchens in the next three years across five cities.

Rohit Aggarwal, Director, Lite Bite Foods Pvt Ltd, said: “We had been working on our cloud kitchen strategy for the past few months, and the pandemic accelerated our plans to foray in the cloud kitchens segment that leverages on a lower opex and low capex model.” He added that dine-in footfalls at the group’s restaurants that are open in line with local government directives remain subdued as consumers remain cautious about eating out.

Karan Tanna, Founder and CEO of Ghost Kitchens, said: “The pandemic has accelerated the food delivery trends, and has been a catalyst for even fine dine restaurants to venture into cloud kitchensfor a more efficient delivery business model.”

However, he pointed out that even food delivery order volumes have been impacted by the pandemic, and are not yet back to the pre-Covid levels.

Players such as Jubilant FoodWorks, the master franchisee of Domino’s Pizza, have also begun deploying food trucks near residential complexes in select cities. The leading food services company recently ventured into the ready-to-cook segment, in a bid to garner a share of the growing in-home consumption segment. Vikran Sabherwal, Senior Vice-President, New Business, Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd, said the ChefBoss range of sauces, pastes and gravies were launched to meet the growing demand for ready-to-cook food products as consumers want to add more cuisines to their home-cooking.

At-home party

Impresario Handmade Restaurants, known for brands such as Social and Smokehouse Deli, has begun offering a curated at-home party experience package in Mumbai.

The Social Party Starter package offers consumers access to the restaurant brands’ menu offerings, including its cocktail mixers for a get-together at home, while following safety and hygiene protocols. The package includes the services of a mixologist, who will whip up the cocktails for the party and a curated music playlist.

Diya Aggarwal, Head of Marketing, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, said the company hopes to enable consumers to re-create the restaurant party experience at home with its new offering and plans to expand it to other cities.

“We have adopted a slew of strategies with the rising food delivery trends due to the pandemic. For instance, we launched pre-made cocktail mixers by Social. We also introduced the DIY meal kits by Smoke House Deli, which comes with fresh ingredients and recipes, so that the consumers can cook their favourite restaurant dishes with their families at home,” she added.

Source: Thanks https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/pandemic-hit-restaurant-chains-turn-to-new-strategies-to-push-sales/article32313467.ece