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Crushed by COVID-19, India's restaurants consider radical changes

App-linked cameras in the kitchen among new tactics to lure diners back

NEW DELHI -- As the COVID-19 pandemic devastates service industries around the world, dining-out culture has taken a particularly bad hit from lockdown regimes. The restaurant malaise is particularly pronounced in India, home to nearly 1.4 billion people, where the leading industry association counts more than 500,000 restaurants as members.

Throughout the country, hotels and restaurants have gone into hibernation, hit by a triple whammy of lockdowns, food supply interruptions and wary customers. "The challenges for the hospitality and gastronomic sector as a whole are the biggest any of us has ever witnessed since the birth of fine-dining or the modern restaurant sector," said Zorawar Kalra, managing director of Massive Restaurants, which operates eateries across India.

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