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Amidst pandemic, food delivery becomes new oxygen for Five-star hotels

Monday, November 9, 2020, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]

According to a report by Forum Gandhi published in Business Line, top-end hotels’ plan to make up for the loss in business due to the pandemic through home delivery of food and services is paying off.

For Indian Hotels, the owners of Taj group of hotels, 15 per cent of the food & beverage segment revenues in the second quarter came from food home delivery.

InterGlobe Hotels generated a revenue of INR 4.5 lakh last month from food delivery, while Accor Group’s Sofitel has seen a 132 per cent jump since May on a month-on-month basis. ITC Hotels, which too has seen a substantial growth, believes hotels can aim for food delivery revenues of up to 25 per cent.

Mandeep S. Lamba, President (South Asia) of HVS Anarock, a hotel advisory services firm, said, “We believe the trend is here to stay with ancillary revenues being the new focus for hotel chains, as they have realized that these initiatives not only help generate additional revenue but can also help expand clientele.”

For Sofitel, the pickup was slow and steady, according to Akshay Sood, F&B Director, Sofitel Mumbai BKC. But tapping festivals and occasions helped the hotel chain ramp up its customer base.

Similar was the case with hotel chain ITC. Anil Chadha, the chief operating officer (COO) at ITC Hotels, said, “We had thought that after the unlock, the growth of the delivery segment would come down. However, along with a steady growth in in-house dining, the delivery segment is also growing. So much so that we have ramped up this service across our hotels.”

IHCL’s Qmin app has seen a consistent growth in numbers since its rollout in July. Metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, which saw easing of restrictions early in the second quarter, have witnessed good growth in orders as well as revenues, said Akshay Tripathi, General Manager, IHCL.

“Not only is Qmin’s increased reach contributing to the revenues, it is also helping in the introduction of new and exciting products like festive menus online. Other cities which post-lockdown have seen a good demand are Lucknow, Pune, Jaipur and Coimbatore,” he added.

“The home delivery segment has helped us gain considerable traction and opened up newer avenues of brand marketing and distribution for our hotels. While it was always in the plan, this period gave us an opportunity to go out and explore this business model further,” Shwetank Singh, Vice President, Development and Asset Management, InterGlobe Hotels.

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