During the phase where strict lockdown was imposed, everything was shut except few deliveries and that could hardly be considered any business. People were scared of the spread to the extent that as a precautionary measure they preferred to make everything at home. Eventually, the lockdown was uplifted, steering us to Unlock 2.0. And even though we have entered a whole new phase with comparatively fewer restrictions, most of the consumers still prefer to stay indoors to maintain social distance. They are not only taking additional measures to stay safe like going out only for the essentials but also restricting their food cravings to online-ordering.
Even though some of the people remain hesitant but the others are making an exception and ordering from trusted brands only. They are ordering from eating joints which are credible and who assure safety norms are being taken care of.
With people becoming extra-cautious of ordering food,they prefer brands where they can see how their food is being prepared.
And, hence we have seen a shift in online ordering and consumers' preference from discounting to maximum hygiene assurance and quality.
“During lockdown we had seen increase in Bulk orders, the other findings were that late night orders had gone down and had reduced in unit value as people were ordering for themselves and weren’t partying with friends, so group orders post 11pm was on a decline. Lunch time orders have been severely affected due to shutdowns in offices and that slot still has to go up with offices being opened across in a gradual process. Even weekend had lost their charm as consumers were abstaining from partying and meeting their friends,” shared Sehaj Singh Kukreja and Tushar Anand of Cheferd Foods that owns Pizza On My Plate, Burger In My Box and Deli Salad Company.
How consumers' online order trends are evolving?
“At Cross Border Kitchens, a survey we conducted showed that the cold beverage sale has declined tremendously during the phase of lockdown because medically it is advised to have warm beverages more as they are believed to be helping in building immunity,” added Ishita Sudha Yashvi, Co-Founder, Cross Border Kitchens whose survey also shared that the era of eating together as a family is back because the survey showed how the sales of curries went up by 25%.
The cloud-kitchen players also seen a rise in order by the people between age group of 20-40 years who mostly preferred to order between 5-9 PM on an average.
“COVID 19 has drastically changed consumers’ consumption pattern since they have started spending more time at their homes. People are making efforts to inculcate a healthy lifestyle while staying at home as they realise that health is their real wealth. Also, consumer behaviour is a tricky thing to observe, hence we have kept all kinds of varieties, healthier variants for health-conscious people and regular fried or pan-fried for the ones who like it like that. Hence our new menu is picking up well,” pointed Shyam Thakur, Founder and Director of Momo King that has seen where most preferred cuisine to order from outside remains as Pan Asian.
Meeting the needs
The brands are putting hygiene and quality check as their first priority so much so that few brands have sent hand sanitizers with all our orders. They are also increasing their kitchen spaces, streamlining kitchen and delivery operations in order to serve their loyal customers better, even in the pandemic. “Our kitchens are typically geared to dish out thousands of orders a day. Therefore, managing any increase in demand is never a problem. However, the rise in CBK portfolio is not due to people staying in and ordering more. The F&B industry continues to face a demand failure. The rise in our overall revenue has come due to our continued investment in new brands and locations. Between March and June, we have launched multiple brands making many new locations live for CBK brands,” added Yashvi whose brand points of sale increased by 156%, which is the primary reason for the growth in CBK revenue.
Commenting on the same, Singh and Anand mentioned, “We have a huge base of repeat customers and they are the ones who have been constantly ordering even during these times, they would constitute of working professionals who don’t live with their family, students, and people in the age group of 15-45.”
Similarly, Momo King is planning to launch Frozen Momos for people to heat at the comfort of their homes, minimising contact and promoting social distancing in the most flavourful of ways. The brand understands that times are tough and thus is keeping the customers' health a paramount priority while catering to their needs to the best of its abilities.
“We had realised that home delivery will be the new normal in post-pandemic, considering the same we are planning to launch 20-25 cloud kitchens in Delhi NCR by the end of 2020. The idea behind these kitchens is to eliminate the traditional dine-in experience and focus exclusively on online food deliveries as it would help us in minimising personal interaction between the staff and the customers,” added Thakur.