Coronavirus Impact: #Unlock 1.0: QSR brands look to recover loses as they gear-up to open services

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Updated: Jun 09, 2020 12:06 PM

With 50% capacity, restaurants turn to contactless dining, value deals to get consumers to dine-in

QSR brands are now advertising on digital more than everQSR brands are now advertising on digital more than ever

As restaurants gear up to restart services under the Unlock 1.0 guidelines issued by the Government of India, quick service restaurant (QSR) brands are cooking up new ways to enhance the dining experience. From modifying restaurant seating arrangements to thermal checkups, social distancing and contactless dining experience, brands have stepped up on their services. “We have trained team members according to new norms. At the same time measures such as distance seating arrangements, demarcated waiting spots for the formation of queues, controlled customer inflow are being implemented,” Moksh Chopra, chief marketing officer, KFC India told BrandWagon Online.

According to a research note by CRISIL, India’s organised dine-in restaurants are on course for a 40%-50% cut in revenue this fiscal because of the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The spread of the virus has led to outlet closures, job cuts and an adverse effect on the food supply chain. “The organised sector has seen a 90% reduction in sales since the lockdown. Dine-in is not operational and online orders have declined 50%-70%,” Rahul Prithiani, Director, CRISIL Research said. As per industry analysts, post the lockdown is lifted the rebound is expected to be gradual, especially in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi NCR which accounts for nearly half of the organised restaurant industry in India, but currently fall under the red zone.

In an effort to recover the losses, QSR brands are now advertising on digital more than ever. Communication, however, is restricted to health, safety and hygiene. “We are going to take advantage of the shift towards digital and increase our spends on the platform as a share of the overall ad spends compared to the pre-covid period. This includes OTT, Youtube, Google, Facebook and relevant platforms for customer acquisition,” Arvind RP, director of marketing and communications, McDonald’s (West and South), claimed.

Further, the food menu is being altered by QSR outlets. “As we prepare to reopen stores, we have introduced a digitally forward campaign called ‘The First Supper’, through which we are encouraging Taco Bell consumers to create a democratic meal, which will be available across the stores post lockdown,” Kumar Saurabh, executive director, Burman Hospitality Pvt Ltd added. The campaign is being run across the social media handles of the brand. Also, these restaurant chains claim to be focusing on creating more ‘value-for-money’ combos. For instance, Pizza Hut claims to have started value deals and combos on the delivery and takeaway channels for solo and group occasions, both. “Along with offers such as buy one get one free on medium pizzas and Triple Treat Box wherein one can save upto 40%, we have also launched ‘My Box’ in select cities for solo consumption,” Neha, marketing director, Pizza Hut India, explained. With more impetus being given to takeaways, QSR firms hope the strategy will help in driving sales.

Read Also: Coronavirus Impact: Demand for ready-to-eat foods gathers steam; sale increases by 20-30%

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