New Delhi: Have you lately hesitated to take your family for a dinner in your favorite restaurant or put off the plans to next week? Well, you are not the only one. With recession and terrorist attacks in the air, there is a marked change in the ‘eating out´ attitudes of people, causing worries to the hotel industry.
And then there are serious concerns on the falling occupancy.
With these signs of waning appetite, the hotel industry is planning for lesser number of food festivals and chalking out strategies to whet the appetites of their patrons again.
“With global meltdown and terror attacks last year, the journey through the year 2009 is not really going to be very smooth. We suffered a loss of over 40% during the New Year celebrations. The impact of recession would reverberate for at least 6 months from now,” says Vijay Pandey, president, Hotels and Restaurant Association of North India (HRANI).
M.P. Purushothamam, chairman, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), says, “There is a problem and we are resolute to handle it. We may reduce the tariffs, the average room rates are also expected to decline and we will have to offer more discounts and introduce more offers to allure people.”
Stressing on the importance of food promotions in attracting customers and building the brand image of hotels, Pandey says, “Hotel industry is very keen to go for promotions and festivals but at this moment, promotions cannot be the prime priority as we need to recover through all the losses we have had till now and also take care of security problems that are still the major concern unresolved.”
However, some ventures in the hospitality sectors feel that recession has not affected them yet.
Anjali Chatterjee, GM Marketing, The Lalit, New Delhi, says, “We didn’t suffer a big setback due to recession as of now because our bookings are done 5 or 6 months in advance. We expect February to be okay for business. The summer season is expected to witness a decline in business due to recession.”
Adding that the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack is more a concern to the industry than recession, she says, “It is 26/11 which brought home difficult times for the hotel industry. There was a noticeable dip after the terror attack. Our yield per room as well as occupancy levels came down.”
President of World Association of Chefs Societies, chef Manjit Singh Gill says, “Generally there is a good turnout at cuisine festivals. Recession, however for sometime brought the business down. The general percentage of people came down for a brief period. We are working to get the business back on track and are successful to a great extent.”