With the Telangana government giving the green signal to bars and hotels to reopen in Unlock 5, the Food and Beverage industry, which was badly hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is slowly getting back on track again.
Although the bars and restaurants are running at a 50 percent occupancy, members of the F&B Industry are relieved that their businesses are getting back on track. “In the first week, the response was a bit lukewarm as people were still unsure about the safety measures that will be taken. However, people are slowly getting used to the new normal and we’re getting in a lot more diners. It’s a big relief to finally resume operations after six months,” shares Bharat Chowdary, one of the partners at Prism Club & Kitchen in Gachibowli.
Gopal Thakur, the partner at Over The Moon Brew Company, adds, “People are tired of sitting at home for over seven months so the response has been decent. However, a lot of people are conscious about the safety measures being taken and they call in advance and only visit once they’re convinced about our safety measures.”
‘Happy to see that customers coming back without fear’
Hyderabadis cannot stay away from their favorite biryani for too long. Many are queuing up outside their favorite biryani joints in Unlock 5. Harun Basha, who runs Biryani House in Madhapur, says, “We’re pleasantly surprised to see the response in the last couple of weeks. Because we are running the restaurant with only 50 percent occupancy, we now have long waiting lists. In fact, we did not expect such a great response and in the initial days, we ran out of biryani very quickly. It’s good to see the customers trust our safety guidelines and come back for a dining experience.”
Amar Kasetty, general manager at Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre, adds, “As business activities have resumed, we’re happy to see a rise in the number of customers who are coming to dine at our in-house restaurants. The customers are extremely particular about the safety measures that are being taken but once they’re convinced, they feel relaxed and are having a good time. However, there are still people who are not yet comfortable to come out and dine. It will still take some time for us to destigmatize the concept of dining out and for things to return to normal.”
Meanwhile, drive-ins in the city are thriving again as people are eating while sitting in their vehicles, without having to worry about stepping out and coming in contact with others. Aamir Rasool, who owns an outlet at One Drive-in at Jubilee Hills, says, “When we had reopened in July, we hardly saw any customers coming in and I was worried that we may have to shut shop. But in the last couple of weeks, the younger crowd has been returning. Although we have a dine-in option, most people prefer to order from their cars as they feel it is much safer. This week, I’ve made as much business as I did in February, so it’s promising.”
FOOD DELIVERIES GOING STRONG
Irrespective of whether people are comfortable going out to dine or not, food deliveries continue to be in demand. Narayana Murthy, manager at Flying Spaghetti in Banjara Hills, says, “Since May, we have been dependent on our online deliveries for our business. People are still worried about coming out to dine because of social distancing, etc., but food deliveries continue to come in. Hopefully by December, things will improve even further.”