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Hyderabad:Catering business takes nosedive as coronavirus shows no sign of retreat

Catering business takes nosedive as coronavirus shows no sign of retreat
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Catering business takes nosedive as coronavirus shows no sign of retreat

Highlights

Situation likely to continue till next summer due to restrictions

Hyderabad: The food catering industry, that makes huge bucks in the marriage season, has seen a steep slump this time due to corona pandemic that confined many to homes. Caterers, big or small, registered or non-registered, have been badly affected as there was sharp drop in parties, marriages and other events due to corona.

The catering industry provides employment directly and indirectly to nearly 3 lakh people, including chefs, kitchen helpers, serving staff and petty vendors of ice-cream, chat and others. As a result of corona, many of them have lost their livelihood during the lockdown period.

Further, even after unlocking, family functions restricting the guest number to 50 are being allowed unlike earlier where such parties would be attended by hundreds. Due to lack of work and very few catering orders, several workers from the catering industry returned to their native villages and some even switched jobs to work in the construction sector and other fields.

Vaishnavi Prasad of the noted Vaishnavi Caterers predicted that the slump would continue till next May, which means they would be impacted for nearly 15 months, starting from this March.

"During the season, we take up catering orders for family functions. During off-season, we fulfill catering orders for birthday parties, official or corporate meetings, public gatherings etc. Due to corona, everything has been stalled, except for weddings where guest numbers are restricted to 50. Nearly, 30 full-time staff used to work permanently, and at times, 800 temporary staff used to work on the same day for functions like engagements, weddings, receptions held same day at different places. Now all these are a thing of the past," he said.

Members of the Telangana Caterers Association echoed similar sentiments. They said that many caterers were in financial distress and facing troubles in paying the loans. They hoped that tide will turn over soon and situation limps back to normalcy.

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