After a prolonged lull in business amid the Covid-19 induced lockdown, the food delivery industry is bouncing back to pre-Covid levels. This was revealed in Indian foodtech unicorn Zomato’s Mid-Covid report for September 2020. The report says that the industry, as a whole, has recovered 85% of its pre-Covid GMV (gross merchandise value), up from 75% last month.
Moreover, the recovery of pre-Covid business is complete in some of the more affluent residential neighbourhoods in two of India’s largest metropolitan cities, Delhi and Mumbai. In some of these areas, the industry has doubled its pre-Covid levels. In Delhi, a buoyant revival of business in parts of Central, South Delhi and Gurugram has meant that the city, as a whole, is nearing complete recovery of its pre-Covid business, having currently recovered 95% of the pre-Covid volume. Mumbai too has recovered 95% of its pre-Covid volume.
In South Delhi for instance, average order value has increased by 65% from February till September this year, and the food delivery business is at 110% of pre-Covid levels. In Gurugram, residential neighbourhoods DLF Phase 1 and 5 are at 150% of pre-Covid levels. However, the city’s commercial areas, namely Udyog Vihar and Cyber City are bringing down the city’s average, since work from home policies mean that food delivery is yet to pick up in these areas.
Metros such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai are still behind the curve (80% of pre-COVID). Some cities such as Kolkata, Patna, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, and Siliguri have recovered completely and have exceeded pre-Covid levels.
The report also contains more insights into the recovery of the food delivery industry. It says that affluent customers have embraced online ordering as premium restaurants have started accepting online orders.
The report also mentions that with lockdown restrictions still in place in parts of the country, celebrations for festivals such as Rakshabandhan, Independence Day and Janmashtami have moved home and caused a massive spike in orders on these days.
Moreover, group ordering is chiefly leading the recovery of the business, with the average order having grown 20% over pre-Covid levels.
“With the ongoing IPL season and the subsequent festival season, we expect food delivery in both metros and smaller cities to make a full recovery soon – and resume growing over pre-COVID levels,” says the report.
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