South Asian eateries try ‘going local’ as recovery strategy


              People gather around a street food vendor in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. In Sri Lanka, where the tourism-driven economy also has been hammered by political upheavals and shortages, the situation remains dire since COVID-19 hit in early 2020. Across South Asia, hotels and restaurants are finding past business models obsolete, forcing a reset in strategies as investments recover to meet rising demand from hungry diners eager to eat out again. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
            
              A street vendor sells food in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. In Sri Lanka, where the tourism-driven economy also has been hammered by political upheavals and shortages, the situation remains dire since COVID-19 hit in early 2020. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
            Saman Nayanananda, centre, Food and Beverage Manager, speaks to a guest at Mount Lavinia hotel in Sri Lanka, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. "A year after COVID, all hotels started food delivery. We were slowly recovering and then this economic crisis came. We ran out of both imported and local materials. Again back to zero," said Nayanananda. "We recovered from terrorism, from the tsunami but this crisis, it has broken the middle class," he said. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena) A local restaurant in Goa, India, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. Across South Asia, hotels and restaurants have faced profoundly challenging circumstances over the past few years, rendering business plans ineffective and forcing a reset in strategies, say industry observers. Experts say revenge eating out after the pandemic restrictions were eased in 2022 have helped bring back investments in the restaurant business. (AP Photo/Vineeta Deepak) Sri Lankan hospitality professional Saman Nayanananda stands in front of a book stall at the South Asia Food For Thought Festival in New Delhi, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022. Nayanananda survived a devastating tsunami in 2004 that devoured thousands, lived through a prolonged civil war that ended in 2009 and witnessed his city being mauled by the deadly 2019 Easter attacks. Then came the brutal pandemic, followed by a debilitating economic crisis that has battered the lives of millions in the island nation. (AP Photo/Vineeta Deepak) People sit for a meal at a local restaurant in Goa, India, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. Across South Asia, hotels and restaurants have faced profoundly challenging circumstances over the past few years, rendering business plans ineffective and forcing a reset in strategies, say industry observers. Experts say revenge eating out after the pandemic restrictions were eased in 2022 have helped bring back investments in the restaurant business. (AP Photo/Vineeta Deepak) A street vendor prepares food in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. Hotels and restaurants across South Asia have had to adapt and reimagine dining out since the pandemic ripped through the region, forcing many out of business. In Sri Lanka, where the tourism-driven economy has also been hammered by political upheavals and shortages, the situation remains dire. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena) Locals spend an evening at a cabana in a hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022. Hotels and restaurants across South Asia have had to adapt and reimagine dining out since the pandemic ripped through the region, forcing many out of business. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)