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Eateries face price-rise heat

delhi Updated: Jan 29, 2013 01:42 IST
Neelam Pandey

Dining out has taken a backseat in the city, if numbers are to be believed.

According to information provided by police and the Delhi government, there has been a sharp decline in the number of restaurants and restobars.

What was earlier seen as a frenzied attempt at exploring the restaurant circuit in the city has now taken a backseat with the number of functional restaurants coming down drastically over the past two years.

While in 2010 there were a total of 4,585 restaurants, the number came down to 4,252 in 2011 and further to 3,826 in 2012.

According to the officials, a number of restaurants have shut shop after being unable to sustain their operations due to rising cost and plummeting revenue.

The licensing department of the police issue licences to the restaurants and they are supposed to obtain a health licence from the civic agencies.

"A number of these restaurants that have closed down were operating in the residential areas or near college campuses. The rising price of commodities has led to losses for them and a number of them decided to not renew their licenses," said a senior police officer.

Officials further said that with inflation hitting every sector, consumers are prioritising their spending, as a result of which expenditure on eating out has come down manifold.

"From eating out every weekend, we now go out once a month only. Everything has become so expensive that a single meal for two now costs anything between R1,000-1,500," said Rachna Singh, a resident of Malviya Nagar.

It is not only restaurants who have suffered but business of restobars has also been hit. According to Delhi government officials, there were a total of 486 resto bars in the city in 2011 which came down to 442 last year.

"The business of resto-bars has taken a hit this year as a number of owners claimed that they have been incurring huge losses," said a senior Delhi government official.

According to officials, most of the bars that have shut down are concentrated in south Delhi areas. "The owners told us that people spent little on alcohol," added the official.