Online orders are not enough for the bakery business to survive.
Ludhiana: Anubhav Grewal, the CEO at Bake Fresh feels miserable when freshly baked cakes, wrapped in colorful fondant, pastries, puffs and patties remain unsold.
“You won’t really find people in the city waking up early in the morning to step out and buy cakes, cookies or pastries. We open up by seven or eight in the morning but, by the time we would expect customers, the clock strikes 12 and we have to put the shutter down,” Anubhav said.
The city is functioning on a 17-hour lockdown, with a five hour relaxation from 5 a.m. to 12 noon. Bakery owners continue working with their shop shutters partially down to fulfill the take-away orders.
Liza Goyal, a city resident who’s fond of cupcakes and pastries said, “I’ve started baking cupcakes myself. I learnt how to bake in the lockdown last year and now I am just practicing. Although we can’t match the cupcakes made by professionals, these homemade cakes help in satisfying the craving.”
Anubhav added that with less people visiting the bakery, the sales have been impacted by 50 to 60 per cent. “Although we are taking online and telephonic orders, they don’t cover up for the sale we would have otherwise. We have reduced our production from 100 pastries to almost 60, to cut down on wastage.”
He said that the sale of bread somehow increases while other products see a down graph.
“The difference between the number of customers we expect and the number of customers that actually show up leads to a lot of wastage. It not only adds to the amount of waste, but also increases our production cost,” Anubhav added.
The lockdown has an impact on the small-scale bakeries as well. Garima Gupta, owner of Cake o’ Clock said that her sales have decreased by 15 to 20 percent. “We have always functioned on orders and we continue doing so. This is one of the reasons why we don’t generate a lot of waste. Working on orders works best since people can easily come and take their orders,” she said
According to reports, food wastage accounts for 30 percent of carbon emissions. Dumping food in landfills, allowing it to rot, leads to production of methane. Therefore, control in food wastage will help in improving the climate.
Prof. Madhubala, head of economics department at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women said, “The entire nation is struggling to fight with the pandemic. Although lockdowns and curfews affect businesses drastically, we need to prioritize health over economy in a situation like this. The state government has allowed take-away and delivery services in order to ensure less public gathering and some flow in the market.”
She added that if these practices are followed religiously, the condition will eventually improve and then with precautions, business could flourish better.