Food catering businesses in Jaipur are finding it difficult to recover from losses post lockdown.
Jaipur: Food catering orders have reduced due to a decrease in social events and weddings in the city. Several caterers have not re-opened their businesses even after ease of restrictions.
Narendra Singh from Ambika Caterers said their business is still shut. They mainly cater to schools, colleges, and government institutions. He added that the perception of people regarding eating outside has changed due to the pandemic. People are being more cautious and are avoiding any type of social events. Mukesh Sharma from Agra Caterers said, “Our business was shut during the lockdown. We did not get any income. It was very difficult to pay for rent. We had to sell our gold in order to get some money.”
Girraj Prasad Mamodaya from Khandelwal Sweets and Caterers said that their catering business was shut during the lockdown but their sweet shop opened within a month of the lockdown. They had to send their workers to their hometown after paying them their basic salaries. He said that he had lost heavily and found it difficult because he had no alternate source of income.
Rohit Chhipa from Shiva Caterers said that their business hasn’t opened yet. During the off-season, they used to get orders for birthday parties or opening of a new place but due to the lockdown that too was not possible. Their source of income is shut since April.
Dinesh Saini, President of Jaipur Catering Dealers Samiti said that around Rs. 500 crore of catering business has been affected due to the pandemic. He added, “There are around 2000 catering businesses in Jaipur and around 15,000 in Rajasthan. The limit for the number of people at weddings is still 100. It is a tough time for us.”
Even Diwali did not bring much hope, some say. Mahendra Singh Rathore, owner of Apno Rajasthan Caterers said, “We have been running this business for more than 18 years now. This year the business has not been the same as it used to be before. Diwali orders have also reduced.” Kaushal Sharma from Shri Krishna Caterers said that they are receiving fewer orders even though it is the festive season.
However, some feel that there is hope. Amit Gaur, a Hotel Marketing Advisor and Consultant said, I do feel that the hospitality industry will soon bloom in the upcoming period as it has a lot of scope to revive.”
Some caterers had to find alternate jobs to make ends meet. Ayush Jain from Manna Caterers said that he took up alternate jobs in tiles and modular kitchen shops during the lockdown. However, his catering business is receiving orders like as it used to before.
Rakesh, a customer said that organizing an event during the pandemic is different. Only one-fourth of the people are allowed to come, out of which only a few turn up. An estimated loss of at least Rs. 620 crore will be faced by the Indian Hospitality Industry. As per the report by Hotelivate, Q4 FY2020 and Q1 FY2021 will bear the maximum losses.
Picture Courtesy: Ayush Jain