87% of Indians won’t visit a restaurant in next 30 days over COVID fears: Survey

The LocalCircles survey also revealed that 74% of respondents won't prefer dining out even if restaurants open in the next 30 days post lockdown.
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The relaxations in lockdown 4.0 have brought in some relief for people. Shops and offices will now open, along with markets and e-commerce activities. However, restaurants have still not been allowed to reopen. LocalCircles conducted a survey to get a sense of how customers would eat out or order from restaurants post the lockdown relaxations, and it revealed that 74% respondents won’t be visiting their favourite restaurants for a meal in the next 30 days after they open post lockdown. Only 20% said they would visit their preferred restaurant post the lockdown. 

When asked what the primary reason was for them not wanting to visit their favourite restaurant in their city for a meal in the next 30 days, 38% said they feared catching the virus from restaurant staff, other visitors or via food, while 12% said they do not want to spend on eating out right now. 49% said both of these apply to them for not wanting to visit a restaurant.

This means that 87% citizens do not want to visit a restaurant in the next 30 days due to the fear of catching the virus while 61% were also reluctant to spend on eating out.

An earlier LocalCircles survey showed that post the COVID-19 lockdown, people are more inclined to getting things delivered to their doorsteps, rather than going out to buy themselves, so that they could avoid getting infected.

On how they would be ordering restaurant food via food delivery apps in the next 30 days, 16% said they would order 1-2 times, 6% said 3-4 times, and 3% said more than 4 times. 65% said they will not order restaurant food for delivery, while 10% respondents were unsure of what they would do.

This implies that 25% citizens will order restaurant food once or more via food delivery apps in the next 30 days, and these numbers are likely to increase with time.

In the recent relaxations, restaurants have only been allowed to operate delivery services but dine-in options are still prohibited across most parts of India. Since the lockdown began, the dine-in business of restaurants has been zero and food delivery orders from restaurants have plummeted by almost 90%. The two major food delivery aggregators, Swiggy and Zomato have started delivering essentials to make up for some of the shortfall in the restaurant delivery business. However, revenues are down by over 75% for the months of April and May for most players in this sector, the survey finds. 

As per the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India, almost 70% hotels and restaurants in India might close down in the next 30 to 45 days due to the strict government regulations and reduced consumer interest. The question now is how can the aggregators as well as restaurants tweak their operating models to cut costs, deliver food with high standards of safety and still keep in touch with the consumers so that when things improve eventually, they are there to serve the consumer demand, the survey adds. 

The survey received over 24,000 responses from citizens located in 232 districts of India. 64% respondents were male while 36% respondents were female. 71% respondents were from tier 1, 20% from tier 2 and 9% respondents were from tier 3 and beyond locations.

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