IPL gathering steam, but restaurants struggle to pull in diners

With the IPL season now in full swing, many restaurants and bars in the city find themselves in a tight spot due to the shutdown. Typically used to large crowds and serving offers for customers, many report that the pandemic has reduced the turnout that they are accustomed to.
IPL gathering steam, but restaurants struggle to pull in diners

Chennai

For restaurants, dine-in remains to be an issue, with restaurants reporting lower numbers despite the IPL. “We usually pull larger crowds on bigger match days like the semi-finals or finals, and with the pandemic, we aren’t sure how many customers will come for dine-in at all. Having offers during this time is more of a loss for us than profit,” said Ram Prasad, general manager of Social Restaurants Private Limited.
Some restaurants are hoping to adapt to match the changing needs of the customers. According to Rahul Chawla, owner of Desi Street, many customers are choosing to stay at home and order in, and he hopes to tap into that market.
“We have worked on a few offers with Dunzo and will be looking into setting up IPL combos through Swiggy and Zomato, too. Dine-in has reduced significantly because people are afraid to step out, so we are trying to meet the customer in a space they are comfortable in,” he said.
While patrons continue to go to pubs in the city, numbers are nowhere close to earlier years’ IPL viewings. Despite the offers that many pubs are offering, customers are hesitant to spend long hours outside, say pub owners.
“We usually get large groups during the IPL, but this time, we have only individual patrons coming in for service. We have extended happy hours in hopes of bringing in more customers. There is a small but steady inflow of customers due to the pull of IPL,” said the manager of a pub in the city.

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