Restaurants in Maharashtra are still reeling under losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. After a gap of close to seven months, the Maharashtra Government allowed hotels and restaurants to reopen from October 5th 2020. As per the report by Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), the restaurant business in the state has been dropped to just 30% compared to the pre- pandemic era. The situation is even worse in Mumbai, as the restaurants have been operating at 33% capacity.
Factors that adversely affect restaurant industry in Mumbai
Let’s take a quick look at the various reasons that stand as an impediment for the restaurateurs in Mumbai.
Staff contracting Covid-19 infection
One of the recent challenges faced by restaurants open for delivery is their employees infected by the pandemic. A negative publicity about the contraction affects the restaurant business badly.
Inadequate tourist infrastructure
When compared to the other major cities in the world such as London, Dubai or Bangkok the tourist infrastructure in Mumbai is not that developed or efficient. The dearth of public roads, public transport and toilets act as a deterrent for the restaurants operating in Mumbai.
Restriction imposed on alcohol consumption
The 1:30 AM deadline imposed on alcohol consumption acts as spoilsport for late night parties. It is one of the major hindrances that stops Mumbai from becoming a major nightlife destination. The restaurant business in the city is also badly affected because of this rule.
Mumbai is considered to be safer for women than many other cities in the country. However, safety at night still remains a concern.
How restaurants in Mumbai can beat competition?
In the present scenario, the below measures will definitely help restaurants in Mumbai to overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19.
Customers have become more demanding and restaurateurs can no longer depend on legacy billing machines. With the help of digital, restaurant management platforms such as inresto POS you can manage various functions such as billing, inventory control, loyalty programs, marketing and a lot more.
One more major advantage is that customers can book tables at the restaurants in advance. The features of digital menu and contactless payments will definitely lead to more word-of-mouth publicity. The system also helps curb employee theft, eliminate long queues at the billing counter and bring down wastage of inventory. The smart insights and detailed reports help you take strategic decisions on time.
Add an online delivery arm
In the post pandemic era, restaurant customers place increasing importance on safety. As per the survey conducted by BofA Securities analysts, 69% of users were worried about eating out. Thus, adding an online delivery arm to your restaurant can lead to a significant increase in sales. Also, getting the restaurant listed on third party delivery platforms such as Swiggy and Zomato can boost the business tremendously.
Another recent trend that is gaining traction is that of ghost kitchens. It’s a delivery-only restaurant where there is no such concept of dine-in space. Customers place order for food online or through call centres and it gets delivered at their doorstep.
Have stringent safety protocols in place
Customers choose those restaurants that is clean and safe to visit. Restaurant owners should ensure that they strictly follow the Covid-19 hygiene protocols prescribed by the authorities. It includes temperature checks, maintaining social distancing, and daily sanitization. Employees should be well-trained on the importance of safety measures to be implemented.
Be active on social media
Build a business page for your restaurant on both Facebook and Instagram. Post high quality images and videos of your signature dishes on these platforms. Whenever there are offers or seasonal discounts, communicate to the social media followers. Rope in food bloggers and offer them free food at your restaurant. A rave review by a celebrity can change the fortunes of your restaurant overnight.
Restaurants in Mumbai are battling with the new challenges posed by Covid-19. The intense competition and wafer thin margins have added to the trouble. To tide over the crisis, the aforementioned steps will be of immense help to the restaurants. In addition to increasing the footfalls, it also helps cut down unnecessary expenses and increase efficiency.