Bird flu scare: Still battling Covid, eateries in Delhi hit again as diners chicken out | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Winter outing for Anish Mehta meant heading out to enjoy butter chicken and naan at the eateries on Pandara Road or chicken changezi and tikka at the street stalls. The bird flu scare has forced him to cancel all such expeditions. With diners chickening out, restaurants and street joints, particularly those specialising in chicken dishes, are cackling with dismay.
Mohammed Ashraf, CEO, Karim’s at India Islamic Cultural Centre, claimed that his weekend sales were down by half and chicken orders were rare with people not only avoiding poultry dishes, but meat in general due to the scare. The fear of the avian infection, he added, had impacted establishments like his offering mostly non-vegetarian menus.
Just as restaurants had started seeing some positive response after being battered by the Covid pandemic, the bird flu news couldn’t have come at a worse time. Danish Swaleh of Dilli Gate restaurant in Darya Ganj was aghast at the sustained business hit he has taken, from the Delhi riots to the novel coronavirus and now the avian flu.
Deepak Tandon of Wok in the Clouds asserted that though footfall and sales at his outlets were better than earlier, people were clearly avoiding dishes containing chicken or egg. “Customers are indeed returning to restaurants. We are seeing one of our best sale days of the season,” Tandon said on Saturday. “But diners are clearly preferring mutton and fish to poultry.” Vishal Jindal of Biryani by Kilo did not report any dip in orders for chicken biryani, but said it was too early to assess the impact of the flu fear.
Food ordering apps such as Zomato were sending messages to customers to explain their pizza, biryani and tikka deliveries were safe as food was cooked above 70 degrees Celsius, enough to kill the flu virus. Citizens of Delhi, known as the chicken tikka and butter chicken capital of the world, are among the highest consumers of chicken.
Deepanshu Manchanda, CEO and founder of online meat deliverer Zappfresh, informed that almost eight lakh bird are slaughtered or traded at Ghazipur mandi each day. He admitted there was fear about chicken across Delhi-NCR, but his website was seeing an increase in the demand for seafood and mutton, indicating that people wanted to order raw meat at home and cook it well.
Navneet Kalra of eatery Khan Chacha and Khan Market meat shop M:eat by Blanco revealed receiving calls from people not only inquiring about the safety of meat, but also availability. “News like this is always met with a panic reaction by a section of society and, therefore, impacts sales both ways,” he explained. “But it improves sales for reputed brands because people like to order from places whose hygiene protocols they are sure of.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *