India’s F&B Market Set to Weather COVID Blues and Re-employ 1 Million Workers by 2021: Dineout Study

Industry Watch | December 19, 2020 | News

Dineout F&B Market White Paper

Leveraging a pool of data from its B2B platform inresto, dining out and restaurant tech platform Dineout has released the trends expected to emerge in the F&B industry in 2021. These result from an analysis of more than 15,000 restaurants using inresto’s contactless dining suite of products.

Ankit Mehrotra, Co-founder & CEO of Dineout said, “What we’ve learnt from 2020 is to be always prepared for the future. Some interesting finds like the rise of shared kitchen spaces, to minimize the overhead expenses, to be wary of future uncertainties, have cropped-up in the study. Restaurants are now more inclined towards owning consumer data, which will only rise with the changing strategy in 2021. The idea behind releasing our second research paper is to help restaurants manoeuvre the ever-changing dynamics of the restaurant industry.”

Here's a summary of trends that will rule 2021 and beyond, according to the study:

  • A whopping 90% of restaurants will adopt digital menus by 2021, and 100% of them will prefer contactless/digital payments.
  • Take-away &delivery will grow exponentially by 15% & 30.5%, respectively.
  • Cloud kitchens, which have a current market-share of 13%, will increase to 30% in the coming year.
  • About 90% of the reservations will be made through online channels.
  • Budding home chefs are expected to rise 4X times by 2021.
  • Restaurants will prefer having their own website and owning customer data rather than depending on third party aggregators.
  • The restaurant industry is expected to bounce back to its full glory by re-employing approximately 1 million people by 2021.
  • There will be a paradigm shift in food consumption preferences, with 45% of young adults making healthier food choices by 2021.


The study has revealed some interesting insights into the parallel side of the industry. Staycation is the new buzzword and has given the industry an alternate source for revenue generation. Staycation and Workation combined will rule 80% of the market by 2021. Similarly, drive-in theatres struggling to make a mark in the pre-COVIDera will occupy 12% market-share in the coming years.

“Digital ordering and payments have allowed us to work more efficiently with a reduced time spent by service teams on manual processes like order entries, order changes, billing and settlements.  Service teams are always on standby for help so that customers still feel a sense of hospitality in addition to the safety they feel with these new systems,” said Annie Bafna, Owner, Nutcracker, Mumbai.

Aayush Agrawal, Founder, LenexisFoodworks Pvt Ltd, said, “When the lockdown started, there was panic industry-wide. In the cloud kitchen space, we saw this as an opportunity to scale our customer reach as no one could stepout to eat, so we took it upon ourselves to deliver food to them. In a few months, we saw many restaurants entering the cloud kitchen space. Restaurants have now learnt that there needs to be an alternative source to generate revenue, and cloud kitchen is one of them.”

The white paper lists down a series of business and future paths which are set to dominate the industry in coming years.

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