The corporate catering business has taken a hit with WFH and weddings and parties have been a complete no in an otherwise busy wedding season time - how will the Catering Industry survive and sustain through the Covid 19 crisis is a big question. The majority of catering companies (particularly SMEs) have faced sharp declines in customer numbers, ruptured asset chains, or other momentous challenges.
Here are top trends that catering Industry will witness post Covid:
Communicate with your Guest: Good Hygiene practices and good production practices will have to be given lots of importance once we are back to work post this lockdown. To be redefining training, redefining the protocol, following govt body, FSSAI norms will all be the order of the day which will be incorporated very seriously into the business. “Our production facilities will also have to very serious focus on sanitization we do. We will have to do very deep-routed comfortable training for our teams. We will have to bring them to a comfort where they self declare if there is any health issue. All these measures will inspire a lot of confidence in the guest,” shared Sanjay Vazirani, Chairman & MD, Foodlink India who believed that showing videos of the central kitchen, production facilities can be made available to guests wherein they can walk in and have a look on how we cook, what are the processes behind and I think these are few things that will allow us to inspire confidence in the guest.
Local will be the new norm: There’s no denying that sourcing and getting local produce in itself kills many problems. Going forward there will be lots of issues that catering players are going to have in export materials. “In the last 10 years we have become so used to these materials which were available at international level. Now, I think we will have to go back to the period before that. It is going to be local, shorter menus, caterers will innovate the menu according the ingredients they have,” said Sameer Lamba, Owner, Kwals Catreing. Also, It is now going to be made from scratches. Supply chain management is going to become very important. It’s not only about caterers but it’s about rating their suppliers aswell. “We work with a lot of American brands and every month we have our supply chain manager visiting the factory and see that the factory is following the standards they are talking about,” added Lamba.
Workforce will come down: “We are looking at max. 150-200 gatherings post corona pandemic. We will have to reduce some amount of our permanent workforce as operations will go down,” pointed Tarun Sibal, Co-Founder, One FineMeal who believed that a lot of investments will be made on training and how to effectively move over a small gatherings.
Mergers will be on Card: “We also have to treat our kitchens as a factory operations and look at every possible avenue to work, be it with aggregators like Zomato or Swiggy or working with packed meals for institutional caterings,” added Sibal further because they have their hygiene facilities, are following FSSAI guidelines and are sitting on a gold mine which takes care of all these norm which is going to be thrown on the catering sector and how do they maximize it.
Food menu will be compact: With people avoiding big gatherings and parties, they will also look at smaller menus and food options to save on the cost further. “The number of dishes will go down in the buffet. Someone serving 200 dishes would now serve around 50-60 dishes. It will be more specialized and the chefs have to be now more innovative. There will be minimal human interactions aswell,” shared Savar Malhotra of Embassy Restaurants.