Kolkata: The city’s restaurants are receiving more multi-course meal orders with soup, appetizer, main course and dessert as customers look to spend more on food than on drinks.
The change in customer demand, especially at dinner, was prompted by police checks at multiple points in the city after the evening to limit drunk driving.
Residents of Garyhat Gaurav and Radhika SinghD., who drive to dinner at Park Street restaurants once every two weeks, say they decided not to drink during these outings and instead focus on their meals.
‘It makes sense to drink at home on other evenings and enjoy dinner out without alcohol. We’ve rediscovered soup and are ordering more than usual now that there’s an appetite and time,’ said Gaurav.
Earlier, they would spend an hour and a half on drinks and appetizers and then quickly eat a meal of nan dal or mixed noodles to end the evening.
While those who still order drinks before meals travel in chauffeur-driven cars or taxis, there are many like Sens who prefer self-driving in times of Covid and opt for a hearty meal without alcohol.
“Soup and soup are required. Then people spend time on the menu card to decide on appetizers, main dishes, and side dishes.” Pratap DariananiThe owner of Oasis Street Park.
Gaurav Gaye of Quality, also on Park Street, had a similar experience. “People eat proper meals and value food,” he said.
Pranav Singh, who runs a resto pub beer At New Town and Opium in Salt Lake Sector V, he says cocktails, soups and juices have become trendy after the crackdown on drunk driving. “Liquor sales are down 10%, but we are happy that people are complying and changing their behaviour,” Singh said.
There are also many who order food from their favorite restaurants and party at home. “We receive orders for appetizers delivery around 7:30 p.m. and dinner around 9:30 p.m. There is a 10-40% uptake in the food trade,” Darianani said.
President of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants of East India Sudesh PoddarThe food-to-beverage ratio has changed from 40:60 last year to 50:50 now, said, who has two restaurants — Manthan and Songhai — and a back M&S in the Dalhousie area.
“A large number of customers are now enjoying the food. This has encouraged restaurants and chefs to make the menu more creative. For example, we started Asian cuisine two weeks ago.
This has also reduced tables turnover time from 2.5 to 3 hours, when customers are drinking and eating, to 1.5 hours when people are only enjoying food. This has reduced the waiting time for other guests on weekends.
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