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NEW DELHI : With the easing of mobility restrictions, restaurants are witnessing rising footfalls as the Indian consumer is discovering his appetite for revenge dining, according to a report by restaurant tech platform Dineout released on Tuesday.

New Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad are leading the recovery in the dining-out sector among metros, with restaurants in New Delhi and Kolkata operating at nearly twice the gross merchandise value (GMV) seen in February.

Among smaller cities, Jaipur and Ludhiana have shown maximum recovery and are operating at 2.5 times the GMV of February.

The numbers bode well for the restaurant segment, which was significantly impacted by the second wave of covid-19 due to temporary closures.

Dineout also reported a 20% rise in average order value at restaurants during July-August compared to February, with smaller cities such as Agra, Indore and Ludhiana registering the biggest surge.

“It’s understandable why millions are thronging to their favourite eating joints. As the covid health advisory is lifted, they can finally step into their favourite restaurants and not be forced to have their meals on their couch," said Ankit Mehrotra, co-founder and chief executive officer, Dineout.

To be sure, Dineout facilitates restaurant discovery and table bookings for consumers. It processes reservation across its network of 50,000 restaurants in 20 cities.

The findings highlight the pent-up demand after Indians were forced to remain indoors during the severe second wave of covid-19 infections.

The report said demand for luxury dining across India has increased by as much as 120%, while business for fine-dining restaurants was up by 105%.

The average number of diners per booking has also risen.

Meanwhile, as some companies resume partial work from office, lunch-hour bookings, too, have picked up from 27% in pre-second wave levels to 39% in August.

Restaurants in Hyderabad and Chennai reported maximum business during lunch hours, while Bengaluru clocked 44% lunch-hour bookings in August compared to 24% in February, the report said.

Diners’ preference for restaurants with vaccinated staff is also on the rise. Out of the 50,000 outlets across 20 cities listed on Dineout, around 67% outlets have fully vaccinated their staff.

Interestingly, these outlets contributed 72% of the total business in August, with Ludhiana, Kolkata, Jaipur, Lucknow, New Delhi and Bengaluru witnessing the highest percentage of dining out at vaccinated outlets.

This is a recurring theme across all Indian cities, the Dineout report added.

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