A sumptuous lunch or dinner, some beverage and watching cricket might be the ideal combination during the Cricket World Cup season.
But restaurants have mixed views blending them, even if it means customers munching some extra eats. While some restaurants are ready to go for the attractive combination, a good number of them detest putting up a television.
Tangerine Restaurant, Alwarpet, got a 32-inch LCD television installed on Sunday for cricket fans dining at the place, but is yet to see the response to it. “Will it mean more people hanging out? Some tend to order more food. But the LCD would be removed after the World Cup,” says the restaurant in-charge Derryn.
The television at The Dhaba, Vijayaraghava Road, T. Nagar mainly showed in-house advertisements of its various branches, but since the Twenty20 series last year, the restaurant decided to introduce sports channels.
Rainforest at Adyar has two television sets that offer entertainment to customers waiting outside the restaurant. Copper Chimney and quite a number of restaurants have televisions.
All these restaurants say the footfall to the restaurant is generally less when there is an interesting match, so having an in-house television in a way is to bring in the foodies.
Space is one constraint why many restaurants do not want to cash in by installing a television. Staff getting distracted in between an exiting match is another reason why some think it is better not to go for one.
M.A. Sayeed, proprietor, Tic Tac, Egmore, says he tried music, DVD and TV, but it is a challenge and therefore he discontinued the practice. “For a day, television is fine, but 40 days it would become a nuisance,” he says.
Owners of Rasam and Kumarakom also say they would not want to introduce a TV. “We had tried it out during cricket season but people extend their hours at the restaurant, making others wait,” says Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar of Rasam.
Fans also know their limits. Some tend to prefer ordering food and watching matches at home, while others look for the comfort, freedom and luxury that hotels and pubs offer.
V. Madhan Mohan, a cricket buff, says he would prefer a restaurant that has a television if he is planning to eat out. “But, a sports bar is a better option to a restaurant as they are affordable, and come with no time restrictions and no rules,” he adds. His friends add that there are not many.
Many restaurants say take-away service is what does best during a cricket match. Tic Tac, for instance, ran out of stock of chicken during the India-Bangladesh match. “We did 60 to 70 per cent sales on parcel service, which is really good. Dry items are more in demand,” says Mr. Sayeed.
Pizza Hut received over 900 bookings for its delivery service across its 15 outlets on Saturday, which, a staff member said, was more than the average number of calls during weekends.