Indians Prefer Pizzas To Burgers During Lockdown
An employee places a cooked pizza into a delivery box inside a Domino's Pizza Group Plc store. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Indians Prefer Pizzas To Burgers During Lockdown

Indians ordered more pizzas than burgers during the pandemic even as Asia’s third-largest economy gradually reopened businesses after one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns in the world.

At least that’s what earnings of Domino’s and McDonald’s for July-September suggest.

Jubilant Foodworks Ltd., the operator of Domino’s Pizza chain in India, saw its same-store sales contract 20% over a year earlier in the quarter ended September, according to its filing. That compares with a 40% contraction for Westlife Development Ltd., the operator of McDonald’s outlets in the south and west India.

  • Jubilant Foodworks’ revenue contracted 18.5% year-on-year, while for Westlife Development the top line tumbled 47.2%.
  • McDonald’s sales in west and south are at 70% of last year’s levels, while Domino’s outlets are at 92% recovery compared to last year.

“Jubilant Foodworks recovery in Q2 was largely in line but better than other QSR players (Westlife/KFC/Pizza Hut), which reported a 35-40% fall,” brokerage Emkay Research said in its post-earnings note.

Recovery in sales for both the quick-service restaurant operators came as India resumed economic activities during the quarter ended September. Demand, however, was driven by online orders as the economy is yet to recover from Covid-19 lockdown.

The earnings of Jubilant Foodworks, also the operator of Dunkin’ Donuts chain, was aided by 6% growth in delivery and 50% in takeaway channels, the report said. Dine-ins at a third of pre-pandemic revenue remained muted, the brokerage said.

Sale of burgers and fries through McDelivery was 90% of pre-pandemic levels in September, while the average check was 131% of pre-pandemic levels, Westlife Development said in its investor presentation. McDonald's drive-in channel grew fourfold in September.

Jubilant shut down 100 dine-in focused outlets in July-September. Westlife Development, however, shuttered nine.

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