Tiffin businesses start returning to life as pandemic subsides

City COVID-19 Food

Most consumers are bachelors and students

Tiffin services in Bengaluru are gradually reviving as the city opens up post lockdown.

Hitesh Kumar from Rootiyan tiffin services, informed The Observer: “We function near Old Airport Road and our services mainly catering to the IT sector. During the lockdown, we did not find any boom in our business because IT was shut and everyone went home. Now, since the city has opened up, especially with companies reopening, our business is coming back to normal.’’

Masala Box, a renowned tiffin service, did not incur much losses in terms of their customer base post lockdown. Priya R. from the company said: -“We did not see any massive change in our customer base post lockdown. Some people were in quarantine because of Covid -19 and hence were ordering food from us, but after that, they stopped ordering. A lot of people working in Bengaluru still order home-cooked meals every day.”

Sameer Bhatnagar, who formerly owned Tiffin Pack Services, said during the lockdown, his business boomed a lot, but he had to shut it down due to personal reasons. Though everything has opened up and people are ordering food from the market, they still have to order regular tiffins 4 or 5 days a week. “One cannot eat out every day. Finances, the quantity of food being provided and many other things come into play. Opening of the market has not badly impacted this business. It is just that people are going for restaurant food, but they still are consuming tiffin food.”

Saket Vardhan, who runs a tiffin service, said: “When everything was shut, people went away and Whitefield was closed, our business went down. Then, there was this phase where Covid patients were increasing so our number of orders increased. Since the lockdown is over, our business is gradually coming back on track. Almost everything is opening up, especially offices, so this has given us some respite.”

Contrary to that, some tiffin services are still finding it difficult to revive their business. Sanjeev Sajjal, owner of Desi Tiffin Box said: “In the lockdown period, our business increased because people had limited access to homemade food. Since everything is opening up, now people have an option to eat out. Post-lockdown, our business has not been as good as it was during the lockdown because many customers have stopped using our services. Now, cooks and house help are also available so only bachelors or students who are looking for regular meal services come to us.”

As offices are opening up, many people are ordering tiffins. Jaskiran Singh, a journalist working in Bengaluru, said: “I have been using tiffins for the past four months after I came back from home. During the pandemic, I was at home,  so food was not a problem there. I prefer tiffins over restaurant food because it is homemade. Even though it is a commercial kitchen, its food still tastes like home. The chapatis I get in restaurants are made from maida and I don’t like them. The cost is also significantly less.” His office used to provide meals, but they stopped after the pandemic subsided.

S.R. Keshava, an economics professor at Bengaluru University, said: “Now that people are not fearful about a third wave, demand has increased. People are going back to offices and everything is opening up, so this has an impact on everything, like rent, electricity, food, and a lot of other such things.”

During the lockdown, many people started tiffin businesses. Deccan Herald reported that many well-known restaurants and catering services started tiffin services in the beginning of the pandemic. Many of these businesses saw their customer base shrink during this period. A similar situation was faced by the dabbawalas of Mumbai. Being badly hit by the pandemic they were looking for other ventures, India Today reported.



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