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Restaurants can’t deliver liquids, lose 20% business



MUMBAI: Day One of the plasticban saw Mumbaikars order dry food items at home. Takeaways and home delivery of gravies, sambhar and chutneys came to a grinding halt as restaurateurs are yet to get delivery of government-prescribed reusable containers. Members of Ahar, an association of over 8,000 restaurants and bars, said that non-delivery of liquids hit 20% of their business on an average.

Meanwhile, delivery aggregators such as Swiggy have asked restaurant partners to mark gravy items as “out of stock” or “outlet shut” to minimize cancellations and avoid poor customer experience.

Saurabh Shetty of Krishna Palace at Nana Chowk, Tardeo, said their home delivery business too was almost 50% down. “We sustained Rs 20,000 loss in a day. We are using cardboard boxes in the absence of the new containers. In fact, we will soon introduce thick cardboard paper boxes that don’t get soggy for an hour,” he said while promising that some eco-friendly solutions will surely come up in a week’s time to bring the business back on track.

While pegging Saturday’s loss at 20%, Ahar president Santosh Shetty said, “In a few cases, we are trying to keep the gravy dry so that dishes like fish masala can be packed in an aluminium foil with blotting or hard paper wrapped around it.”

“In the absence of plastic containers, the home-delivery business was badly affected,” said Meldan D’Cunha of Soul Fry in Bandra. Dev Kamath of Madras Cafe in Matunga said while they were not big on home delivery, “We are asking consumers to come with containers to carry sambhar,” he said. Lingappa of Apeksha Restaurant near Fort said, “This area has many banks and we get several orders for items with sambar and sabji. Our business is down 45-50%” A staffer from Civil Restaurant in Dhobi Talao said, “We tried out aluminium foil as containers but it couldn’t hold gravy.”

A few restaurants have given delivery boys steel containers for all deliveries. Akshay Shetty of Gurukripa restaurant in Andheri said a new stock of green bags would hit the market on Monday. Green bags and paper containers would cost up to Rs 20 extra for parcels. While bags will cost around Rs 10, the paper containers would come for Rs 4 to Rs 7 each, they added.

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