We’re now in the fourth month since restaurants shut their shops, though few restaurants have opened their doors for customers, many are still struggling and are innovating new concepts and ideas to overcome corono losses. Also, customers are missing dining at their favourite restaurants and what’s best to cook your favourite meal and food from DIY kits from these speciality joints.
“DIY kits are sure to deliver restaurant-style gourmet food fresh at your doorstep, but it can't replace a dine-in experience,” said Rohit Aggarwal, Director, Lite Bite Foods whose restaurants Punjab Grill Chef@HOME DIY Kit is priced between INR 325 to INR 1595,ranging from starters to signature meats, whereas YouMee DIY Ramen boxes serve 1 and are priced between INR 350 to INR 700.
Since not all food items travel well, DIY kits give people the option to eat fresh and increase the reach of the restaurants to a farther distance. This model might not be huge on revenues, but it will surely make people appreciate the art of cooking. This will increase awareness and respect towards the chefs and food experts for their craft. Pan-Asian restaurant Kylin has gone into DIY kits and so as fine-dining restaurant Tres & Punjab Grill and Japanese restaurant You Mee amongst other.
“As all dine out options are shut and people are craving different cuisines, DIY has become a substitute to dining out. And a good family activity as the person who cooks takes the price of being the master chef of his home. And then happy meal equals to happy family,” said Saurabh Khanijo who claims that their DIY is different from what others may be offering. “We have packed our ready to cook sauces / paste in bottles which has a normal shelf- life for a month if kept in refrigerator without losing any flavours. We have introduced all the secret sauces packed in a bottle which are 2 step recipes and you can cook whatever you want with them from veggies to meats to rice,” he added.
Commenting on the same Chef Jatin Mallick, Chef & Co-founder, TRES, said, “DIY Meal Boxes can never be an alternative to restaurants. The experience of dining-in at a restaurant is not just about food, it's about the good service, ambience and the vibe too. But yes, with DIY meal one can relish a quality meal at the safety of their homes.”
High on numbers
Internationally, restaurants are experimenting with this model for log time but in India restaurants adopted this model only during the covid-19 crisis.
“The response to the trial phase was very encouraging, we sold a considerable number of DIY steak boxes. Such a positive response led us to increase our DIY options,” added Mallick whose target customer is anyone who is passionate about cooking, find it therapeutic and relaxing to unwind.
Meanwhile, Khanijo is selling 50 to 100 kits a day. “The response is very good as everybody being home and getting a welcome change from the regular Indian or homemade cuisine. We being in Asian space people were craving for those flavours as they are difficult to cook at home unlike pizza pasta,” he pointed.
Target customer is all at the moment. As we all look forward to some activity sitting at home,” added Khanijo whose DIY bottles range is Rs 250 to 350 a bottle which gives 4 to 6 servings. “During these times’s people look forward to value for money options so we have prices it very nominally,” he further pointed.