Back in the game: Hyderabad's restaurants welcome customers

Back in the game: Hyderabad’s restaurants welcome customers

After almost six months of no activity, restaurants and night clubs in Hyderabad are set to party once more, albeit with caution

In September, when some of the staff of Haiku returned to the city from their home towns, after six months, they found that the open-air Asian-themed restaurant at Jubilee Hills hijacked by pigeons. Though cleaning seemed like an impossible task, there was a smile on the faces of the staff and Suma Chereddi, Haiku’s owner. Come October, Suma is thrilled to see a family of 21 celebrate a birthday on four different tables (due to social distancing).

As per Unlock 4.0, hotels, restaurants and bars are thinking of inventive ways to welcome back customers, despite the ongoing pandemic. As rooms at ITC Kohenur booked up again — this time for staycations — the hotel revived its lavish Sunday brunch spreads with whatever resources were available.

Having used the lockdown to calzones, pizzas and cheesy garlic bread to its menu, the team at Feranoz is loving the response. “On most weekends, we are sold out on our food menu. The comeback is good and hopefully we will all stay safe and continue to support each other’s businesses,” says co-founder Ameen Barazandeh.

Path to recovery

Dineout, a reservation and restaurant tech platform, has recovered 60% of its pre-COVID business. Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad are moving rapidly towards normalcy, with a 70% recovery rate projected to be achieved in this festive quarter, followed by Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur and Hyderabad with a 55% recovery rate.

The growth curve can be credited to restaurants leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of their customers and staff. They are promoting QR Code-driven digital menus, and digital payments, to minimise contact and optimise business.

In fact, at Marigold, for the hilsa food fest, customers are pre-booking tables. Abhishek Dhar, General Manager of Marigold Hotel, says, “This is absolutely thrilling for the staff after not having served guests for over five months.”

Caterer Rahul Sharma reflects, “Business may not be at 100%, instead it is at 50-60% but that is a positive feeling for the economy. Customers don’t mind the mask and are probably enjoying the less crowd, we just want our lives back.”

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