What are festivals without a feast? In India, festivals are complemented by various culinary delights and savories that are distinct to each Indian festival. Culturally too, Indian festivals have a strong linkage to food items and the food and beverages sector experiences a massive hike during the festive season.
2022 is critical for the Indian hospitality and the food and beverages sector. The industry is waiting patiently for a bounce back. The hospitality and the F&B segments have also learned to adapt quickly, think outside the box and embrace new ideas. The concept of “cloud kitchen” was brought into the fore to deal with the crisis brought about by the pandemic. Come this festive season, all stakeholders in the food and beverages sector are looking to do brisk business - riding high on consumer interest and post pandemic relaxations. The last two years have been difficult for this sector with pandemic induced restrictions creating disruptions.
According to Sudesh Poddar, President, Hotel and Restaurants Association of Eastern India, “The hotel and food and beverages industries will do tremendous business this festive season. We are expecting all records of the previous decade to be broken.”
Explaining the reason behind it, he said, “The pent-up festive demand of the last two years will be the major pusher. People are looking to enjoy this restriction free festive season and the food and beverages segment will be the major gainer. Restaurants are coming up with new menu lists and innovative ideas. The traditional Bengali thalis continue to be the most popular offering for many restaurants.” He added, “Reduced disposable income may be a deterrent for heavy purchases like automobiles or soft goods. However, it will not impact the food and beverages sector.”
According to Azra Asher Ather, Director of Sales, Aminia, “The last two festive seasons have been hard, especially for the hotel industry. We have seen 25-30% of our sales dipping compared to 2019, but in 2022 we are all set to reopen our festive offers with high hopes of the market getting back to normal as we have felt that there is a sense of acceptance. People are looking to celebrate the way they used to in pre-pandemic times.”
Shouvik Dhar, Founder, Zomoz informed BE, “We are expecting a rise in sales during the Puja days. This year, we expect the walk-ins to be at least 60% more. Generally, this trend continues till Diwali and like every festive season, we at Zomoz have ensured adequate inventory and sufficient manpower at our outlets.”