Restaurants remain empty despite unlock: Some shut down permanently, other 30% stare at bleak future

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August 20, 2020 12:03 PM

While the government has eased lockdown restrictions amid the pandemic, the restaurant industry is still facing the economic fallouts of the coronavirus outbreak with only one in every five restaurants currently operating in the country.

The 10 PM deadline will further hurt business.The fear of public spheres is running high amid consumers despite opening of economic activities.

While the government has eased lockdown restrictions amid the pandemic, the restaurant industry is still facing the economic fallouts of the coronavirus outbreak with only one in every five restaurants currently operating in the country. In fact, the whole industry is working at only a fraction of the capacity it was operating before coronavirus days, according to a recently released report by online food delivery platform Zomato. “Dining out industry in India is yet to bounce back and operating at 8-10% of pre-COVID levels… Even in cities where restrictions have been lifted, only 17% dining out restaurants are open for business at the moment which are also running at low capacity,” the report released on Wednesday said. 

The fear of public spheres is running high amid consumers despite opening of economic activities. The slump for the restaurant industry is also on account of markets being in lockdown. Several restaurants have also chosen to not open up yet, even if their respective city is not in lockdown, the report said. For instance, while major cities such as Chennai, Delhi have allowed restaurants to resume business operations for dine out, only 9 per cent of eateries are open in Chennai, 12% in Delhi, 19% in Bengaluru, 21% in Hyderabad and 29% in Kolkata. The ugly news here remains that some of the restaurants may never open again with 10% restaurants surveyed by Zomato already shut down, while an additional 30% are in danger of shutting down in the future. 

“Of the 83% restaurants that are not open for business, 10% have already shut down permanently and we anticipate an additional 30% restaurants to not reopen at all. Remaining 43% are closed right now but likely to open, as the situation becomes better,” the report said. While dine-out business is down, a glimmer of hope is provided by Zomato’s food-delivery business which is now clocking 75-80% of the pre-COVID gross merchandise volumes (GMV). Zomato hopes recovery in the food delivery business in the coming two-three months.

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