“The chicken in the smoke was frozen”: the dilapidated restaurants were completely brazen

I already had a similar precedent: the last time a man in green scolded me for an order weighing 18 kilos (why not twenty ?!). All this seems to be in direct contradiction with the declared trend for the development of the delivery industry in the capital: in the spring of 2022, industry experts said that the future belongs to the small forms. As less and less people gather a mass order once a week, so that two kilos of flour, milk and laundry detergent at the same time – and more and more often it makes sense to order two bags of cat food and a package. yogurt every night. Honestly, by the way, paying for delivery services at the same time: after a sudden crisis in early March 2022, the option of free delivery almost disappeared from the concentration applications – well, only if they came from giant supermarkets and when we ordered this way from 5,000 rubles … or if there is a good offer … According to experts, this is provided: increased orders must be reimbursed to couriers. In practice, this does not seem to be the case at all.

One of the possible solutions was proposed as part of the Pan-Russian Retail Week by a big businessman Timur Shakaya: according to him, if modern retail is focused on the neighboring community and all the shops are within walking distance, then people will be more willing to go to the shops “the old way”:

– It must be easier for the customer to walk you in slippers than to call a courier. A certain atmosphere must be created and the customer must receive something different from what he orders on the Internet, a special attitude, an element of celebration. “Then the store will be a point of attraction”, the businessman noted.

However, the practice of ordering goods at home is still common for Muscovites and the only question is how it will be organized.

At one of the concentration companies, where MK requested a comment on the current situation, the request was ignored – no response was possible.

– Our goal is to ensure that the share of orders through our application is higher than through aggregators. This allows us to use our own couriers and set our own delivery rules. So far, this position has not been ideally developed, but we intend to develop it, – representatives of one of the big supermarkets told MK. – In addition, in this way we can ensure the delivery of the final products (cooking), as gently as possible and suitable for consumption immediately after receiving the order.

Indeed, for a modern person who is accustomed to the fact that a supermarket offers not only products but also ready meals, this option is the best. Expert solidarity: according to experts, in the conditions of a modern metropolis, the separation of trade and public catering has been exhausted. In the current reality, the boundaries between a coffee shop and a shop should be blurred, because many shops offer ready-made meals and packaged coffee to customers – and many coffee shops, on the other hand, sell their dishes or accessories by signing them in the form of semi-finished products. If this separation is not removed (from a legal point of view), there will be many legal problems related, for example, to the installation of unstable retail facilities.

At the same time, it turns out that the future of Russian trade lies in the wholesale markets: Alexander Lifintsev, Deputy Director of the Department of Domestic Development of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, announced it as part of Russian Week. According to him, the main task to be resolved is the legal regulation of future wholesale markets, but the decision to create them has already been made. Markets need to address the issue of providing quality and affordable food.

– We have finalized this bill, it has been agreed with everyone, it remains to work on it together with the Presidential Administration. “We will submit it to the government by July 1,” he said.

However, shopping is a solution for those who are forced to save seriously. So far, ordering food from restaurants etc. remains in demand. dark shops (parts with kitchen without dining area, focused only on tradition). And the future of Moscow restaurants is a separate and very urgent issue. In view of the current economic crisis, the level “I do not regret a single ruble for gastronomic pleasure” is maintained by a few – and we are talking about facilities with a check above average. Financial institutions are forced to save money, including the quality of meals – because of this, they lose those customers who would be willing to pay for meals outside the home.

– I have always liked restaurants and I did not like to cook at home, well, the income allows it. So in the last few weeks, I realized that I was losing my desire to go to these cafes, it was expensive and tasteless to cook, – says 32-year-old Nadezhda R. – For example, I always liked an Indian restaurant a lot, but I came there last time time and I saw that in a portion for 550 rubles there were only 3-4 tiny pieces of chicken and caught the volume of the dish due to fried onion. I do not want to encourage them and pay them. A special conversation is wine: I am not against Russian wines, they are not bad, but they should be cheaper. Now restaurants are asking for 450 rubles for a glass of our saperavi, I think that’s more than … Apotheosis – in a restaurant the other day I was served iced tobacco inside the chicken. Not raw, no, just cold. I do not know how they achieved this, but I absolutely do not want to transfer money to such institutions.

Someone does not bring money to the public catering for this reason, and someone – because he was forced to reconsider the structure of the family budget. Back in the spring of 2022, Moscow restaurants seem to have experienced a wave of popularity. Everything seemed as if there was no crisis at all: all the restaurant rooms were full, you have to book a table in advance not only on Friday, not only in the evening and not only in the city center. However, by the summer the situation had changed and our unbiased statistics show completely different data: restaurants began to become inactive.

In one of the malls, which opened on the site of an old Soviet cinema, calm prevails even during breaks – half the tables are empty. Although there were no international fast food chains leaving Russia, some tenants could not cope with the load or reduced flow. The food court, once home to almost ten corner restaurants, now has only five occupants left – and reluctantly admits things are getting worse.

“Six months after opening, we were selling 70-80 servings a day, and that does not count what was spent on delivery,” they say in an Indian cuisine shop. – Now we sell a maximum of 30. It seems to me that this is also due to the closure of stores in the mall: well, people just stopped coming here. There were also fewer orders for delivery. We are not raising prices yet, but we will do so soon if we do not want to work at a loss.

The same depressive mood prevails in a nearby store that sells Italian pizza and pasta. The sellers admit: no one expects good news.

– We have a very large drop in turnover, and we have already been forced to raise prices. We can not stand the competition: on the ground floor there is another pizzeria, but in the form of a restaurant, with service and during delivery we can not compete with the coffee chains, the sellers admit. – Look at the room now: 20 people are sitting, but none of them is eating pizza. We are inactive.

At the same time, it must be acknowledged that prices (possibly taking into account the recent increase) can not be described as mediocre. Suppose a large pizza with prosciutto costs 850 rubles – for the same money, perhaps, you can order pizza at a restaurant and not eat it at the food court. So, perhaps, the customer is really thinking: is pizza worth the money on a plastic tray?

However, declining moods do not reign everywhere. One of the “restaurant chronicles” of Moscow, which recorded all the opening of new facilities in May 2022, lists 11 names of bars and restaurants – here there is Mediterranean cuisine, and Mexican, and another Neapolitan pizzeria and a cocktail bar. Most newcomers, of course, are concentrated in the Garden Ring, but some also go to more remote areas (most often in loft blocks, where there are many office buildings with potential customers). Authentic and European cuisines continue to lead the way in openings by type of cuisine, as well as Italian-influenced restaurants, fish and seafood-oriented restaurants and bars, as well as popular steakhouses and Pan-Asian cuisine. At the same time, purely meat concepts, grills and burger bars are gradually losing ground. This may be due in part to the desire of customers to find cheaper stores (after all, steaks are very expensive!), In part due to the growing trend towards vegetarianism and meat rejection. There is also a certain gastronomic fashion – today the creative dishes of the author’s kitchen are in great demand, instead of a laconic solid steak.

Analysts in Moscow are not very optimistic: they estimate that the opening rate of new cafes and restaurants in the city in 2022 will be 10-15% lower than last year and even lower than before the pandemic. The reasons are on the surface: the inevitable rise in the prices of food (especially those involving imported ingredients) and alcohol, combined with the decline in the purchasing power of the population. Simply put, you can open a restaurant, but who will go there? for restaurants and suppliers.

– If supply chains are created and import substitution is created by the end of 2022 or if new supply channels are found, we also expect an increase in the number of openings to the levels of 2019 and 2021. If this does not happen, then the opening rate of new restaurants by 10- 15% is possible, especially in the upper price segment, as players will have to look for alternative suppliers. In addition, as early as March, cases of price increases in the menu were recorded, – the expert said in an official statement.

Experts note that in 2021 the average size of restaurants decreased to 147 sq. M (by 31% per year), which indicates the increased interest of tenants for smaller facilities. It may be easier for new restaurants to develop their brand in a small area with cheaper rent (and, for example, in the form of self-service) and only then aim for more global projects.

Another trend contributes to this: in Moscow, the number of restaurants, cafes, corners and restaurants with authentic cuisine from around the world is growing: Vietnamese, Pan-Asian, Indian, Greek, Korean, Chinese, Scandinavian and especially Turkish. The trend is relatively new – they began to appear in Moscow after 2014-2015, when, due to the first food sanctions and the jump in the euro exchange rate, the “classic” restaurants proved to be less in demand. Such concepts, as a rule, are not initially based on the atmosphere and the level of service in the institution, their strength is an authentic menu (for which, as a rule, national chefs are invited). If such chefs do not stop coming to Russia and there are no obvious interruptions in the supply of exotic ingredients such as shrimp and Thai spices for tom yum, then these facilities will survive the crisis.

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