The ban on free access to cafes and restaurants in Moscow since the end of June due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in demand for the delivery of corporate meals, ready-made meals and cookery. But the cafes and restaurants designed for business traffic have so far managed to retain their regular customers, market participants are sure. In their opinion, further flow of demand will depend on the duration and new possible restrictions in public catering.
After the imposition of restrictions on free visits to cafes and restaurants in Moscow on June 28, the demand for corporate meals in the city increased by one and a half to two times, Kommersant was told in the Catery service. In the first half of June, corporate lunches accounted for 10-15% of all orders on the platform, and at the end of the month the figure rose to 20%. The Azbuka Vkusa network says that the demand for the delivery of ready-made sets for any occasion from July 1 to 9 has grown by 30% compared to the same days in June. After the introduction of restrictions on the work of catering establishments, an increase in the total volume of orders by 19% is also observed in the Performance Group (Level Kitchen, Performance Food, My Food services), the founder of the holding, Artur Zeleny, told Kommersant.
From June 28, visiting restaurants in Moscow is possible only with a special QR code, which can only be obtained if a person has officially been ill with COVID-19, was vaccinated or has a negative PCR test result taken no later than three days before the visit. Catering establishments can work takeaway, with delivery. It is also possible to serve visitors without QR codes on summer verandas. It was originally planned that the verandas in this mode will be able to work until July 12, and on July 8, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin extended this period until August 1.
A representative of the Shokoladnitsa Group of Companies (coffee shops of the same name, as well as the Coffee House and Wabi Sabi chains) says that in the first weeks of work in the new conditions, revenue in the group’s halls fell by about 50% from usual indicators, and the demand for delivery increased by 25-30%. The founder of the Grabli project, Aleksandr Rozhnikovsky, clarifies that sales at their Grabli box outlets increased by 25% after June 28, and in the Grabli Food Bar, which operates only for take-away and for visitors with QR codes, they fell more than 70%.
The Prime network (part of the Novikov Group) is talking about a 30-40% decrease in revenue in some locations, where office workers began to be transferred back to a remote work format even before the restrictions were introduced: “About 80% of our guests always buy takeaway products, the points where the traffic remained, the sales decreased slightly ”.
In the shops of the Azbuka Vkusa chain, since the beginning of the restrictions on the work of public catering, they noticed a shift in interest in cooking – the turnover in the category increased by almost 7% compared to the previous week. Delivery Club and Yandex.Eda did not provide comments.
One of the founders and general director of the Obed.ru platform (present in 174 Russian cities) Vladimir Orlov says that it is impossible to see a serious flow of demand in such a short time. “Catering establishments designed for business traffic continue to operate and find a way to feed their regular customers. In the future, the situation will develop depending on the restrictions on the operation of cafes and restaurants, ”he points out.
At the same time, says Mr. Orlov, the corporate catering segment has already significantly transformed since the beginning of the pandemic. According to him, the transition to a remote format of work, last year’s restaurant closings and other restrictions led to an increase in delivery only in his company by an average of three times in a year and a half. Alexander Rozhnikovsky also sees growth in the b2b segment – online deliveries have grown by 20%, to retail chains – by 15%, through automated trading – by 5%, and to offices – twice since the beginning of the year.