Restaurant sales in Chandigarh suffer due to avian flu
In the wake of avian flu outbreak, not just poultry shops but restaurants in the city, too, are reporting a drop in sales.
Saying that the losses hadn’t been quantified properly, but the losses of 30% to 40% were likely, chairman of the Chandigarh Restaurants and Hotels Association, Manmohan Kohli, said, “People who are coming out to eat are not ordering chicken dishes. But it goes beyond that and sales of all items in general are suffering. News of a second virus is making people stay at home.”
Restaurants, however, are adopting innovative ways to adapt to these conditions.
Kohli, who is also the proprietor of Hotel Aroma in Sector 22, said that he was using this opportunity to develop vegetarian dishes. “While some people are ordering more mutton and fish dishes, we are seeing a rise in people turning to vegetarian food, and we are working on that part of our menu.”
Outlets offering imitation chicken, fish
Sunveer Sondhi, the city head of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)’s Chandigarh chapter, said, “This is the second jolt that the restaurant industry has received in the past year. It is difficult for people to feel welcome at a restaurant when there are rumours going on about bird flu. The NRAI has asked all restaurants to cook chicken at a higher temperature than normal to ensure that the food is safe for people to eat.”
Also the proprietor of Pyramid at Elante Mall, Sondhi added that they had launched a line of imitation meat made from vegetables: “Imitation meat that uses soya and other vegetables is starting to take off in the city. Customers are curious to know about vegetarian chicken and vegetarian fish that we sell.”
Many eateries in the city report a higher demand for mutton and fish dishes. Proprietor of Pal Dhaba in Sector 28, Amit Pal Singh, said, “There is no sale of chicken dishes, but the sale of mutton and fish products has increased by 30-40%.” The prices of mutton and fish, however, have started increasing, thus affecting sales, leading to a 40% dip, he added.
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