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Tiffin box is passé: Bengaluru eats lunch out more than any other Indian city



BENGALURU: The lunch hour is a special time for Dushyant Chillale (29), a techie at Akamai Technologies in Bellandur, an IT suburb. He eats lunch out every day. No, he is not a migrant living alone in Bengaluru who needs to arrange food on his own. He isn’t single either. Chillale is simply not fond of his ghar-kakhaana.

“My family eats only South Indian vegetarian food. I like non-vegetarian food like grilled chicken and rice. My boxing regime pushes me to follow a particular diet too. For the past three years, I spent my lunch hour trying different restaurants and cuisines,” he says, adding that 90% of his colleagues too eat out or order online. Tiffin box is passé.

Chillale is part of the 70% lunch bookings that Bengaluru alone contributes to the national F&B pie daily, according to the data recently collected across 30 Indian cities by Cleartrip Local app. Mumbai and Delhi follow with a meagre 10% and less. It only means that Bengalureans eat their lunch out more than their peers located in the rest of India. The app gathered data from August to October this year.

According to this data, 90% of the lunch bookings in Bengaluru are for buffets. Top localities for restaurant bookings are Whitefield, Koramangala, Indiranagar, JP Nagar and Jayanagar, in that order. While app users from Whitefield book restaurants in their own area, Electronic City users will travel miles to grab their lunch. The dominant age group of bookers is from 25-30 years and 65% are male.

Suman De, product head (local & platforms) at Cleartrip, says, “Bengaluru’s working population is huge. Young IT professionals, singles and migrants occupy a large part of this pie. Online booking comes naturally to tech-savvy Bengalureans than other Indian cities.”

Ranveer Sabhani, business head (south) for Social and Smoke House Deli chain, adds, “Working couples like to cook only at dinner time to strive for work-life balance. We have been witnessing a 15% year-on-year growth in our lunch sales.”

According to Rahul Nagpal, partner at Synergie Hospitality Consultants, buffet restaurants like Chutney Chang and BBQ Nation, food tech platforms and hole-in-thewall joints are flourishing. Foodies can buy a wholesome lunch for ?100-300. This access to economical yet good food makes Bengaluru a profitable lunch market. Nagpal adds, “Like Singapore, most houses in Bengaluru will not have kitchens soon. Just an insular slab will be provided. DIY food kits and food delivery apps will flourish further.”

Amit Roy, co-founder of hospitality consulting firm ThinkTanc, explains, “There are a bevy of food apps serving deals and foodies are making good use. Restaurants close to tech parks and café bars do well for lunches.”

Roy believes that Delhi and Mumbai cannot be discounted as poor lunch markets. Mumbai has a thriving dabbawala delivery mechanism and Delhi has an array of neighbourhood joints that are affordable and accessible. However, he admits that the two metros may not be as tech-savvy to book meals online like Bengaluru.


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