With restaurant business having gone bust for about two months now, several dine-in eateries such as Indian Coffee House in Sector 17, have adapted to provide delivery to offices in the vicinity, after the UT admin gave a nod for home delivery to begin on Tuesday.(Sanjeev Sharma/HT)
With restaurant business having gone bust for about two months now, several dine-in eateries such as Indian Coffee House in Sector 17, have adapted to provide delivery to offices in the vicinity, after the UT admin gave a nod for home delivery to begin on Tuesday.(Sanjeev Sharma/HT)

Unappetising start to delivery of cooked food, sales dismal in Chandigarh

Most people who used to order food regularly say they are still afraid and prefer to wait till the epidemic is in control
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Rajanbir Singh, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAY 20, 2020 10:24 AM IST

When UT administration, on Monday, permitted the home delivery of cooked food, it was anticipated to be a moment of cheer for restaurateurs, dhaba owners as well as those who have been craving their pizzas, burgers and kebabs. However, sales on Tuesday were paltry.

Barely a few riders of app-based food delivery companies were spotted on roads on Tuesday. Prem Sagar, a delivery boy with Zomato, said many restaurants had still not opened as they were preparing their food. Another delivery boy with Swiggy, Ankush Kumar said, that like the previous days, they mostly delivered groceries.

Outlets of food chains such as KFC and Domino’s were closed to entry. Ashish, the manager of KFC’s Sector-35 outlet said only three orders had been delivered by late noon. A Domino’s employee, of condition of anonymity, also said their sales were meagre compared to an average day before the lockdown.

With business having gone bust for about two months now, several dine-in restaurants have adapted to provide home delivery. Indian Coffee House in Sector 17 was open to orders which were being delivered within the sector, mostly to offices, said assistant manager Virender Singh. Nik Bakers which did not deliver earlier, has begun home delivery for their cooked items.

Meanwhile, some eateries preferred to stay closed, as food without the particular ambiance does not ‘feel’ the same they said. Proprietor of Oven Fresh Rohit Kumar said, “Oven Fresh has never delivered food before, and we are still hesitant. We will first renovate, then after a survey of the response, we will decide if we should start delivering.”

Most people who order food regularly are still apprehensive. Sector 9 resident Anmol Gupta said, “It is hard to monitor what is going on in a restaurant so currently I feel uneasy about ordering food.” Himali Bhargav, who lives in Sector 27, said, “I feel uneasy about eating food not cooked before me especially in these times.”

Sector 18 resident Gagandeep Seikhon said she is not likely to order for a month. “This phase is as the curfew is lifted is crucial, as there will be more infections. I won’t order till cases come down.”

Takeaways are hardly going to help restaurants which have suffered huge losses, said Arvinder Pal Singh, president of Chandigarh Restaurants and Hotels Association. “Tuesday sales were not even 10% of an average day. The government should allow restaurants to open soon, with all safety procedures in place.”

Hot Millions proprietor Amanbir Singh said the administration has capped the timings for delivery too early in the evening. “Sales will stabilise eventually, but with the 7pm cap, we can’t provide dinner, which is our biggest source of earning. There is no point allowing deliveries from 7am as hardly anyone orders breakfast.”

Pal Dhaba in Sector 28, received only 10-12 orders on Tuesday. Owner Sunny Pal said they used to get a 100 orders a day. “Maybe because many people don’t eat non-vegetarian fare on Tuesdays. I think orders will go up on Wednesday as people get to know that deliveries have started,” Sunny Pal said.

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