Party spirits seem to be a low-key affair this season, owing to crackdown by the Indore district administration on serving of alcohol past 12 in the city. Pub and hotel owners expect a minimum of 30% drop in sales owing to this.
“The problem with parties on New Year’s eve is that they start very late. The crowd starts to come in at around 11 pm. Therefore it becomes difficult to tell them to leave by 12 pm. This would lead to customers choosing house parties and farm parties over partying at a pub,” said a pub owner in the city requesting anonymity.
Similar thoughts are shared by food blogger Rakesh Dawani, who points that a drop in the number of parties has been registered for sure. “A lot of people state that demonetisation has affected the business, but more than that it is the crackdown that has affected the party scenes. Last year, more than 20 parties were announced till Christmas eve. But this year, only six or seven were announced,” he said.
Dawani said late night business is a must for a party to be profitable for a club or restaurant owner. “People want to go to a place wherein they can party in peace till the wee hours. Owing to the crackdown, no place is ready to allow this,” he said.
While most of the parties announced so far don’t have the presence of an international or national music artist of repute, which is a very unlikely phenomenon for a city that hosted international artists like Akcent, most of the pub owners plan to start the party early to milk profits. “We start early this year at around 8 pm, so that we can allow people to enjoy some time before we end the party. We will also be able to generate profits,” said Jagdish Makhija, owner of Vidorra, a pub in the city.
But despite the starting early, pub owners cry about the low turnout. “Low footfall was visible throughout this year because of continuous checks. Not much changing with Christmas, we just hope that new year’s eve sorts things out,” said Makhija.
Meanwhile, the food safety department will leave no stone unturned to check that the rules are properly followed on the occasion. “We have been continuously carrying out raids to check that there are no violations. On new year’s eve as well, we will be moving in teams to book defaulters. Anybody found to be violating the rules will be punished accordingly,” said Manish Swami, food inspector.