By Vishakha Talreja,
During the strict lockdown in April when most meals enthusiasts had been busy generating that ideal cup of Dalgona coffee for the gram, no a single very imagined that when they commence stepping out the Indian meals space would have entirely metamorphosed.
In final 5 months we have noticed restaurants reopen with strict security precautions, concise curated menus of numerous household chefs on Instagram, household deliveries from cloud kitchens and DIY meals and even cocktail kits. While bigger-than-life elaborate service was important at fine dining restaurants, they now boast of contactless service. “Our utmost priority is safety of our guest and our employees. Contactless and frictionless are now terms we have all adopted,” says Gaurav Shetty, Managing Director of MRG Group that runs preferred seafood restaurant chain Sana-di-ge with outlets in Delhi, Bengaluru and Mangalore.
Besides taking security precautions, restaurants are tweaking their menus, making use of immunity boosting components and going massive on deliveries in the new normal. “Apart from the obvious and overt safety precautions, the restaurants are now playing to their strengths. We have noticed a move away from large multi-page menus, restaurants are focusing on getting their hit dishes right. In the West, sharing portions are being frowned upon and large buffets now seem redundant. Many restaurants in India are also embracing local ingredients and produce as a consequence of the import regulations due to the pandemic,” explains Raaj Sanghvi, CEO of Culinary Culture, a platform for chefs and restaurants.
According to Zomato, the meals delivery volumes have reached the pre-Covid level with the sector probably to develop at about 15-25 per cent month-on-month for the foreseeable future. “Digital F&B aggregators and food delivery has gained a sudden momentum amid the pandemic. We have witnessed a substantial growth in our food delivery business—through online delivery platforms and restaurant self-delivery,” adds Shetty. The new mantra appears to be remain household and order in. The trend of cloud kitchens had began to catch up even ahead of Covid hit us and it was deemed as the future. The pandemic has quickly tracked their development, as cloud kitchens are in a position to household-provide gourmet meals at a a lot decrease price as they do not have to invest in elaborate dine-in set ups and interiors. Post unlock numerous cloud kitchens have mushroomed and are performing brisk enterprise. “We started our cloud kitchen two months back and have got a better
response than what we expected. Customer retention has been great and we get repeat bulk orders. The key is to package food in a manner that customers can just heat and eat saving them from all the fuss,” explains Sanchi Arora of Grub Bowl, a Noida-primarily based cloud kitchen that delivers bowl meals hassle-free to be consumed at household.
The spurt in on the internet delivery has provided ample chance to household chefs as nicely. Some solopreneurs are performing it as a weekend gig and other individuals are taking a extra industrial method. Home chefs have introduced to foodies a complete new planet of genuine household style dishes. When 22-year old digital marketeer Chitrangda Gupta along with her mother Arati Thapa began trials of genuine mountain momos making use of her grandmother’s recipe in July, she didn’t anticipate their venture-Boju’s Kitchen- to taste achievement so quickly. “Boju’s Kitchen is a pandemic baby, but the response has been so good that we see ourselves doing this even post pandemic. We started with mutton, chicken and pork momos but are now expanding our menu to include Thukpa, noodle soups and main-course dishes,” says Thapa.
Just like these cloud and household-kitchen set ups, some meals trends will also stick about even when the virus loses its sting and the pandemic ends. “Once the vaccination is out, I am hoping that restaurants will continue to follow safety measures, that otherwise our country lacks,” expresses Sanghvi. We hope that as well.
(The author is a Delhi-primarily based travel, meals and life style writer. Views expressed are individual.)