How Delhi-NCR Restaurants Are Coping with a Heatwave Slump in Business

Team FS


Key Points:

  1. Delhi-NCR restaurants report up to 40% drop in business during the scorching 2024 summer.
  2. Strategies include discounts, menu adjustments, and enhanced cooling systems to attract customers.
  3. Malls see an uptick in evening sales as customers seek refuge from the heat, contrasting with daytime slump.

The summer of 2024 has proven to be exceptionally challenging for non-mall restaurants across Delhi-NCR, as soaring temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius have significantly impacted their business. Rahul Arora, owner of The Big Tree Cafe in Gurgaon, laments a staggering 40% drop in footfalls and revenue due to the relentless heat, which has deterred diners from venturing out for lunch or dinner.

Impact of Record-Breaking Temperatures

Temperatures in and around Delhi have soared to historic highs, with records being broken repeatedly. The Safdarjung Observatory recorded a scorching 46.8 degrees Celsius, marking a 79-year high. Such extreme weather has discouraged even regular patrons, affecting both revenue and overall dining experiences at local eateries.

Strategies to Mitigate Business Decline

In response to the drastic decline in footfalls, restaurants have adopted various strategies. Some are offering attractive discounts, refreshing menus with seasonal specialties, and installing outdoor cooling systems like mist fans and shaded areas. For instance, Anardana has introduced a plant-based summer menu and cool mango beverages to entice customers despite the heat.

Challenges for Food Delivery Services

While restaurants struggle with empty tables, food delivery services face their own set of challenges. Delivery agents brave the scorching sun and earn modest incomes amid the heatwave. Zomato's recent plea to customers to avoid ordering during peak afternoon hours underscores the difficulties faced by delivery personnel during this period.

Contrasting Fortunes in Malls

Interestingly, restaurants located in air-conditioned malls have experienced a different trend. Establishments like Birch at Pacific Mall and Harajuku Tokyo Cafe at Select Citywalk Mall have reported increased footfalls during evening and nightlife hours. This shift highlights how malls serve as refuges from the heat, benefiting businesses with indoor settings.

Future Outlook and Adaptation

Looking ahead, Delhi-NCR restaurants are cautiously optimistic about recovering from the summer slump. Rahul Singh from Bira 91 notes that outlets in malls have seen robust sales, pointing to a potential rebound as temperatures ease. However, challenges persist, especially for non-mall establishments reliant on outdoor dining experiences.


The impact of the 2024 heatwave on Delhi-NCR's restaurant industry underscores the resilience and adaptability required during extreme weather events. As businesses recalibrate their strategies and innovate to attract customers, the contrast between mall and non-mall operations highlights the importance of adaptive measures in sustaining restaurant operations amid climatic challenges. With ongoing efforts to enhance customer experiences and optimize operational efficiencies, the local dining landscape aims to navigate through adversity and emerge stronger in the seasons to come.

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