Hyderabad as a Culinary Destination needs no introduction. The City offers best of the food in all prices and to satisfy the paletes of all kinds of people.

From a roadside bandis to the curry points in every street, the small eateries, restaurants, fine-dining places, and the star hotels, there is everything for everyone in Hyderabad. But then, the name of Hyderabad as a food destination took a hit with the series of raids being conducted by the Food Safety Department in the last few weeks.

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From small restaurants to the big names, there are compromises in hygiene and healthy safety by using expired food items, illegal use of harmful food colours, lack of cleanliness in the kitchens, using of sub-standard ingredients etc clearly indicating that even the Premium prices do not get fair quality food.

But then, the eating out culture got deep-rooted in Hyderabad in the last few years.

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According to a study, people have given up cooking and are spending more on takeouts, food delivery apps, and processed food.

>>The pattern is same across the country. The consumption of staples like rice, wheat and pulses has gone down from 24.2% to 10.5% in the country.<<

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At least until 2010, eating non-veg is a Sunday affair for most middle-class and upper-middle-class families. Eating out is reserved only for special occasions in the family. The eating options were also limited.

Paradise was the synonym of Hyderabad Biryani those days. The families used to drive all the way to Secunderabad to savour their favorite Biryani. Today we have around twenty branches in Hyderabad itself.

The advent of Food Delivery Apps changed the entire landscape.

Gone are the days who have to travel all the way to Secunderabad to have Paradise Biryani or to RTC X Roads for Bawarchi Biryani. You have multiple choices in your area as well and you can get them from Secunderabad or RTC X Roads to your doorstep as well.

Just imagine, Swiggy says 6,64,46,312 unique dishes are available on Swiggy’s menu across the country.

Initially, there were lot of apps like Swiggy, Zomato, UberEATS, Food Panda, and many smaller apps. These apps used to offer deeper discounts and referral bonuses to acquire customers and highly contributed to the change in food habits of Hyderabad.

Only Swiggy and Zomato have remained in the race and burning of cash stopped to a large extent but the eating habits were already changed by then.

The online food delivery industry in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.5% from 2020 to 2025, reaching $71.62 billion by 2025.

Coming to Hyderabad, here is an interesting tid-bit from Swiggy in 2023. India ordered 2.5 biryanis per second in 2023. Every 6th biryani was ordered from Hyderabad.

People were able to get their favorite food without stepping out of their houses. There are Restaurants which would survive only on Deliveries by these Apps. And there are cloud kitchens which are only on these apps.

There are restaurants coming up in every street. Most of them are shutting down in less than an year but another eatery comes at the same place almost immediately indicating the demand and enthusiasm to invest this space.

Change in the Lifestyles is also the major reason for people opting to eat outside food.

IT boom led to good salaries and that means there is availability of cash to spend on such comforts.

Both husband and wife working contributed largely to this change. Nuclear families led to women having to share the burden of maintaining the households and rising the children. To relief women of the burden of kitchen duties, outside food is the only option.

Children are also into fast food and processed foods due to the influence of peers in the schools and colleges.

From non-veg once a week, most households have come to eating outside twice or thrice a week.

While this is about the families, the foodies are even more equipped in the Bachelors.

Those living in hostels, PGs, and Shared rooms/flats often tend to the food aggregator apps and the street food that is cheaply available.

In this segment, the availability of food as late as 1 AM and 2 AM is also making things worse. There are spots like Eat Street in Gachibowli DLF where the Night is never dark and food trucks are available on every road saying no to youngsters at any time.

The latest trend in the city is the restaurants offering 4 AM Biryanis. It is a celebration for youth to party all night and eat early at 4 AM before going to bed.

Basically you see food in tempting colours and names every nook and corner and at any given time round the clock.

All these factors – easy availability, affordability in the people, changed food habits are contributing to the lifestyle change in the people across all spectrums.

The latest raids by the Food Safety Department indicates the eateries do not care to offer quality food and sadly people are not so particular as well.

According to a study by the scientists at the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), among urban adults in Telangana (including Hyderabad), 47.7% were obese, and 14.8% were overweight.