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Restaurants market set to weather COVID blues ,likely to re-employ 1 Mn workers By 2021:  Report

New Delhi, 18th December 2020: The only way to move forward is to leave something behind. With 2021 around the corner, everyone wants to forget their woes and look forward to a bright and cheery future. After witnessing the worst shut down ever, the F&B industry is getting back to its feet by adopting means to adhere to the new normal. Leveraging the pool of data from its B2B platform-inresto, Dineout, India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform, has come up with the expected trends in the F&B industry by 2021. 

The white paper lists down a series of business & future paths which are set to dominate the industry in coming years. These result from an analysis of more than 15000 restaurants using inresto’s Contactless Dining suite of products. 

Throwing light on these trends, Ankit Mehrotra, Co-founder & CEO of Dineout said, “What we’ve learned from 2020 is to be always prepared for the future. Some interesting finds like the rise of shared kitchen spaces, to minimize the overhead expenses, to be wary of future uncertainties have cropped-up in the study. Restaurants are now more inclined towards owning the consumer data, which will only rise with the changing strategy in 2021. The idea behind releasing our second research paper is to help restaurants maneuver the ever changing dynamics of the restaurant industry. ”

Summary of trends that will rule 2021 and beyond are:

  • A whopping 90% of the restaurants will adopt digital menus by 2021, and 100% of them will prefer contactless/digital payments. 
  • Takeaway & Delivery will grow exponentially by 15% & 30.5%, respectively.
  • Cloud kitchens which have a current market share of 13% will increase to 30% in the coming year. 
  • About 90% of the reservations will be made through online channels. 
  • Budding home chefs are expected to rise 4X times by 2021. 
  • Restaurants will prefer having their own website and owning customer data rather than depending on third party aggregators. 
  • The restaurant industry is expected to bounce back to its full glory by re-employing approximately 1 million people by 2021. 
  • There will be a paradigm shift in food consumption preferences, with 45% of young adults making healthier food choices by 2021.

“Digital ordering & payments have allowed us to work more efficiently with a reduced time spent by service teams on manual processes like order entries, order changes, billing, and settlements.  Service teams are always on standby for help so that customers still feel a sense of hospitality in addition to the safety they feel with these new systems.” emphasises Annie Bafna, Owner, Nutcracker, Mumbai.

Cloud kitchens emerged as saviours for the industry. Commenting on the same, Mr. Aayush Agrawal, Founder at Lenexis Foodworks Pvt Ltd, points out, "When lockdown started, there was panic industry-wise. In the cloud kitchen space, we saw this as an opportunity to scale our customer reach as no one could step-out to eat, so we took it upon us to deliver the food to them. And in a few months, we witnessed many restaurants restricted to only brick and mortar models now entering the cloud kitchen space. Restaurants have now learned that there needs to be an alternate source to generate revenue, and cloud kitchen is one of them.”

The study has revealed some interesting insights into the parallel side of the industry. Staycation is the new buzzword and has given the industry an alternate source for revenue generation. Staycation & Workation combined will rule 80% of the market by 2021. Similarly, drive-in theaters struggling to make a mark in the pre-covid area will occupy 12% market share in the coming years.