Rough patch for restaurants likely to continue atleast for next 60 days with majority revenues expected only via food delivery channel


  • • 34% citizens say they will consume restaurant food in the next 60 days
  • • Majority of these will get the food home delivered
  • • CDC report says adults who tested positive were twice as likely to have dined at a restaurant/coffee shop in last 14 days
34% citizens say they will consume restaurant food in the next 60 days; majority via home delivery

September 14, 2020, New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs allowed restaurants to restart operations under Unlock 1.0 from the 8th of June 2020. It has been 3 months since restaurants became operational and although the industry was quite happy with the decision, consumers have largely stayed away from eating out due to the COVID-19 fear.

A recent study by Centre for Disease Control, USA released on Sep 11th, has said that adults that tested positive for COVID-19 in July in America were twice as likely to have visited a restaurant or a coffee shop in the last 14 days.

LocalCircles conducted a survey to understand the Indian consumers on how they have consumed restaurant food in the past 60 days and how they plan to do it in the next 60 days. The survey received over 33,000 responses from various parts of the country and the findings show that the struggle for restaurants will likely continue for longer than initially expected.

The first question asked citizens in the last 60 days, how have they consumed restaurant food. In response, 2% said they visited restaurants several times to eat out and 3% said they visited restaurants just a few times. Another 2% said they didn't visit a restaurant but did home delivery of restaurant food several times while 21% said they didn't visit a restaurant but did home delivery of restaurant food a few times (20 %). 72% said they neither visited a restaurant nor did home delivery of restaurant food.

28% citizens say they have consumed restaurant food in last 60 days; most via home delivery

28% citizens say they have consumed restaurant food in last 60 days; most via home delivery

This means that only 28% citizens say they have consumed restaurant food in the last 60 days, and most did it by ordering the food at home. Food Aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato have been reporting approximately 50% of sales recovery as compared to pre COVID-19 including the supplies of groceries and essentials which they commenced in April 2020. There have been reports that many restaurants and cafes have shut down shops as they were unable to recover even their operational costs due to lack of customers. Many others have said that they are barely hanging on. Restaurants are also seeking permissions from the Government to start ‘al fresco’ or open air dining to ensure social distancing and minimise the risk of virus spread.

The following question asked citizens that in the next 60 days, how do they expect to consume restaurant food. In response, 3% said they plan to visit restaurants several times to eat out and 6% said they plan to visit restaurants just a few times to eat out. 3% said they had no plans to visit a restaurant but will do home delivery of restaurant food several times, while 22% said they have no plans to visit a restaurant but will do home delivery of restaurant food a few times. 64% said they have no plans to visit a restaurant nor do home delivery of restaurant food.

34% citizens say they will likely consume restaurant food in the next 60 days; most via home delivery

34% citizens say they will likely consume restaurant food in the next 60 days; most via home delivery

This shows that only 34% citizens are likely to consume restaurant food in the next 2 months and most of them will order food at home instead of going for a dine out. Citizens are concerned about catching the COVID-19 infection in restaurant & cafes as they are frequented by a variety of people and studies indicate that restaurants are most prone to virus spread because of the droplets generated while consuming food and the possibility of air transmission to others because of the centralised air conditioning system.

When asked what the types of foods were they would most like consume at a restaurant or via home delivery from restaurants in the next 60 days, 11% said international Cuisine while 46% said Indian cuisine. 6% said fast food, 14% said sweets or bakery items and another 14% said non vegetarian delicacies. 9% said they were unsure about it.

Of those who want to consume restaurant food in the next 60 days, 46% want to have Indian Cuisine

Of those who want to consume restaurant food in the next 60 days, 46% want to have Indian Cuisine

The results clearly indicate that how most people prefer ordering Indian cuisine much more than international cuisine in India. This is especially true when it comes to tier 2, 3 and 4 towns where international food choices are limited or non-existent.

Food trucks are a comparatively newer concept in the country and some restaurants in metros have been experimenting with it by sending food trucks to large housing societies so people have access to their favourite delicacies at their doorstep and outdoors. When citizens were asked if they would consider consuming restaurant food if their favourite restaurant came to their colony/society in a food truck. Even to this, 55% said no while only 28% said yes. 17% were unsure about it.

28% citizens say they will consume restaurant food if the restaurant sent a food truck to their colony or society

28% citizens say they will consume restaurant food if the restaurant sent a food truck to their colony or society

Many restaurant owners believe their business might improve once outdoor dining is allowed. However, with the COVID-19 daily case load rapidly rising, the Government may have to sensitise people to limit out of home activities other than for the purposes of earnings and livelihood to contain the spread.

Restaurants may need to innovate a bit here, cut down on expensive real estate and cost structure, come up with pocket friendly home delivery menus and get and stay connected with the customers they serve.

Survey Demographics

33,000+ responses were received across 240 districts of India. 61% respondents were men while 39% respondents were women. 53% respondents were from tier 1, 32% from tier 2 and 15% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. They survey was conducted via the LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.

About LocalCircles

LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform enables citizens and small businesses to escalate issues for policy and enforcement interventions and enables Government to make policies that are citizen and small business centric. LocalCircles is also India’s # 1 pollster on issues of governance, public and consumer interest. More about LocalCircles can be found on https://www.localcircles.com

Akshay Gupta - media@localcircles.com, +91-8585909866

All content in this report is a copyright of LocalCircles. Any reproduction or redistribution of the graphics or the data therein requires the LocalCircles logo to be carried along with it. In case any violation is observed LocalCircles reserves the right to take legal action.

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