KARACHI: Despite the closure of restaurants in the southern port of Karachi the anti-coronavirus lockdown has done little to spoil the appetite of residents in Pakistan’s financial capital, with Middle Eastern cuisine finding a permanent place in their iftar and sahoor schedules, restaurant owners told Arab News on Tuesday.
They said they were staying afloat by catering for home deliveries, particularly during Ramadan. One such eatery is the Ridan House of Mandi – a pioneer of Middle Eastern food in Karachi located on Khalid Bin Waleed Road, one of the city’s commercial hubs.
“Ramadan has brought some business, and our online and delivery orders have trebled,” said Danish Hafeez Khan, the marketing manager of the restaurant, adding that because of the stipulated delivery times permitted by the government — from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. — “we could not take more orders.”
He added that despite losing 70 percent of the overall business due to the lockdown, the restaurant had seen a 10 to 20 percent increase in home deliveries.
To ensure quality control, Khan said Ridan was following all the procedures ordered by the government. Another restaurant that has been doing well is the Mandi House, on the Shaheed-e-Millat Road.
Manager Usama Sajid said that while the home delivery orders were better than during Ramadan last year, they could not be compared to the profits which the restaurant would have made, if people had been eating out.
“In lockdown before Ramadan, the weekends were busy, but in Ramadan every day is busy for delivery orders,” Sajid said, adding that chicken mandi, mutton madfoon and kunafeh (a dessert) were their most popular items.
Syed Jawad Hussain, auditor and marketing manager at Paramount Fine Foods, which specializes in Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine, said that since they were only allowed home deliveries, it was difficult to calculate the percentage increase in total sales.
Amin Ladhani, the manager of Damascus Restaurant, agrees. The eatery, which is located in the Clifton area of Karachi, is popular for its Middle Eastern fast-food items, such as shawarmas and chicken farrouj.
Ladhani said that while they received most of its orders through Food Panda (a home delivery service), they were observing in-house, anti-virus measures, too.
Source: AN-Food and Health
Pakistanis get favorite Arabic cuisines delivered to their doorstep during lockdown