Owing to the ongoing Covid-19 India lockdown, the restaurant sector is facing a major setback. However, industry members like Dineout, one of India’s largest dining out platforms; National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and food ordering and delivery brands like Zomato and Swiggy are rolling out effective methods to combat the crisis.
As a part of this, Dineout has filed a petition #ReliefForRestaurants on change.org to Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of India. The petition states, “The F&B industry employs more than 7.3 million people. If this shutdown continues, 20 per cent to 25 per cent of the employee-base could lose their jobs. For a restaurant to continue being operational, they have to be financially sustainable to ensure payment of loans, expenses, salaries, rent and so much more.” For this, the Indian government needs to:
- Introduce employee unemployment pay cover to make sure workers do not have to worry about salaries in such testing times.
- Defer rent and utility payments
- A moratorium for upcoming statutory dues
Additionally, on the Dineout platform, one can pre-buy dining vouchers at a discounted price and redeem it later.
Meanwhile, NRAI is encouraging restaurant employees who are currently out of jobs to work with online grocery stores like Big Basket that is struggling to keep up with the rising demand for its services, disrupted by the lockdown.
A member of NRAI, Gauri Devidayal, partner, Food Matters India and co-founder of The Table, Colaba says, “Our priority is to do whatever it takes to keep the kitchen fires burning in our employees’ homes. If delivery of essentials is the need of the hour and our manpower can assist, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Swiggy and Zomato are reaching out to government and individual establishments, offering to deliver essential goods such a groceries and medicine. They are also working to donate meals to migrants and daily wage earners.
Zomato’s Feeding India channel has initiated Feed the Daily Wager campaign, under which they will provide food to the daily wager communities that are currently unable to support their family’s food requirement. They have made ration kits containing wheat flour or rice, two types of pulses and a bar of soap required for a family of five for one whole week. Each kit costs them (Zomato Feeding India) ₹500 and is delivered to locations across multiple cities.
Likewise, Swiggy has set up its Hunger Savior Covid Relief Fund. This fund will be used for the welfare of its delivery fleet and their families.
Sriharsha Majety, CEO, Swiggy said, “To assist our delivery heroes during these testing times, we have initiated this special fund which will be supported by Swiggy and our investors. I am overwhelmed by this collective initiative to support one another, while also doing what we do best – serving our customers.”