How The F&B Industry is “BAT”ling the COVID Soup

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With summers looking right at us, nothing beats a warm Saturday evening than chilling with friends over a couple of beers and lip-smacking food. But, in light of the current pandemic, we cannot overlook the fact that nothing is more SOCIAL than going on a date or meeting a group of friends. It is correctly said that Delhi knows how to party. But with social distancing in place that is not the case anymore. As much as it is annoying for us to be at home, it is ten times more unfortunate for the hospitality industry since they are at the bearing brunt of these dire circumstances.

I took the liberty to ask how some of the players in the hospitality industry are coping up with COVID-19 for a better perspective.

What areas are you facing issues (supply chain, man-power, delivery, gaining customer trust etc.) currently? What are the measures that your restaurant is taking as of now to battle with the current situation?
‘’Supply chain is a big challenge as we are a nationwide brand and we have different warehouses, the interstate borders are closed and it is quite difficult, however gaining the trust of the customer and rules changing every hour is a bigger challenge.‘’
Srihari Parthasarathy
Partner and Head of Business development Frozen Bottle
‘’It’s a combination of all of it... gaining customer trust will always be there as we do have really good loyal customers. Manpower is the biggest challenge that we are facing right now. They are not able to go back home also as everything is locked down. Therefore my expenses are going higher cause I have to provide them with food and stay. And helping them in every way. ‘’
Nihal Kapoor
Director HNS group
‘’Supply chain might be the issue as most of items used in high scale restaurants are imported and if we depend on local market for supply then because of the present scenario of lockdown in our country the sudden high demand will create huge gap between supply and demand. Another issue will be cost cutting. Looking at the present scenario of low economy in our country, many businesses are shutting down, corporations are not able to meet their budgets, and many businesses are going down. Which is totally affecting the F&B business. Now many F&B joints of mid scale & high scale with high operation & salary cost may ask the staff to leave‘’
Amit Gautam
Operations Head Sutra
What is your restaurant’s take on delivery only mode and what are the steps taken to ensure the hygiene for customer trust?
‘’Since our business is temporarily shut there is no activity going on. We will resume once Corona issues are resolved. Can’t put our people and our customer’s at risk. We expect this to hit both March and April. May will see some recovery. But full normalcy can take the next 2 quarters i.e till September. As the second-order consequences will emerge in months to come. As far as hygiene-related issues are concerned, we use the highest safety and hygiene standards in all scenarios. Corona or No corona.‘’
Animesh Lodha
CEO Cheelizza
‘’Delivery is a good option but now if u see many riders of a third party (delivering partners ) are not using proper sanitation method, hence gaining trust for high scale brands like ours will be the challenge. Even one small mistake can ruin our brand image.As of now, all our operations have been stopped ‘’
Amit Gautam
Operations Head Sutra
‘’Even delivery has been on and off depending on the situation. But we are having hand sanitizers in every outlet. Thus, on a regular basis, the employees are using it and then preparing the food. ‘’
Nihal Kapoor
Director HNS group
‘’We have ensured all safety precautions are followed according to the health ministry. We have ensured that before we give the product to the delivery boy, we ask them to sanitize their hand. We have cut down the number of staff in terms of the fact that there would be only 1 or 2 members at every given point of time instead of 4 to 5 members.‘’
Srihari Parthasarathy
Partner and Head of Business development Frozen Bottle
How difficult do you think it would be to recover the losses once business resumes again?
‘’It’s a major major loss, not only with loss, but the expenses are also going way too high. This lockdown period has to be figured out to get back when the situation calms down... but it’ll easily take a few months to recover. ‘’
Nihal Kapoor
Director HNS group
‘’The way I look at it, I would like to erase 2020 out of my mind. The reason I would say this is because the world is going to go under a huge economic hit and to recover it would take at least 6 months provided everything settles down. Any asset-heavy model businesses would need relief in terms of Rent rebates, Mortgage waivers, taxation reliefs, indirect taxation reliefs and salary reliefs. If this doesn't happen you will find lakhs of people on the road without a job. I would consider this year to be only about sustaining and nothing else. ‘’ Srihari also adds -‘’ I would suggest all my colleagues start asking the owners for a rental waive off and we need to fight this battle together. Nobody is big or small. We all are one today.‘’ There is light at the end of the tunnel we just need to be smart to sail through!
Srihari Parthasarathy
Partner and Head of Business development Frozen Bottle
‘’It will be difficult for sure, after operation resumes once the lockdown period is over .But if one brand is strictly following proper hygiene and sanitation methods and not compromising with standards , will definitely succeed in this and yes your loyal and regular guests will play the major role in this ‘’
Amit Gautam
Operations Head Sutra

In conclusion
It’s safe to say that we all are in this together and each one of us has to do our part in order to overcome the lost business and the dip in the economy. Being said that, I also believe we should keep supporting each other and our staff in the hard times to come.

About Famepilot
Famepilot closes the sales cycle loop by asking the customer feedback post-transaction and helping businesses respond on-time from a single dashboard. Famepilot converts your reviews into revenue.

About Author

Rohina Dasgupta

Sales Development Manager at Famepilot with amalgamation of her degree's in Hotel Management and HR has been overseeing sales for the FnB Industry at FAMEPILOT.

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