Are restaurants all set to bounce back as Delhi gets ready to eat, drink and repeat 24X7
In a move to boost the restaurant sector, chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a meeting with members of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), officials and restaurateurs, have decided to allow Delhi restaurants to be open 24x7, along with open spaces such as terraces and balconies to be used, and abolition of certain licences. Severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant business is struggling to survive as many popular eateries have also been forced to shut down.
This move is being welcomed restaurateurs. They believe that the permission and restrictions ease will benefit to earn more revenue, and bring the city’s dining scene back to life.
Vishal Anand, director, Moonshine Food Ventures says, “Restaurant industry has been under the permit raaj for a long time but this is a welcome move by the Delhi government. This step will definitely give a much needed boost to the much affected food and beverage industry and create a positive business environment, which is the need of the hour.”
The move for restaurants to operate round-the-clock will also benefit professionals from the hospitality sector as employment will be generated. Priyank Sukhija of First Fiddle Restaurants says, “This not only gives us benefit to earn more revenue but also this generates more employment.We have always admired the nightlife culture of other countries because of such free spirited rules, getting timings restrictions ease in our own Delhi will surely give elevate industry. Echoing the same thought, Zorawar Kalra, Massive Restaurants Pvt Ltd feels that the ease of doing business will ensure more people opening their restaurants. He adds, “We welcome the opportunity to operate 24x7. Keeping in mind the safety of our patrons and our team we will study our various locations and choose where all this new opportunity can be implemented.”
Apart from providing job opportunities, the massive step will directly contribute in increased income for the grappling industry. Akshay Anand of Ophelia feels that it was much needed as this move will all together change the dynamism of industry. He says, “Lot of people work in shifts , hence this move will get us more clientele as well, hence more revenue generation. Also this will add charm to the nightlife as well. We will be taking safety measures and more health measures in check so that our staff remains happy.”
For a restaurant, the operational timings currently are from 11am to 11pm and 11am to 1am for bars, but will the time extension impact the functioning of fine-dining restaurants and small establishments? “As far as timings are concerned, we being fine dining anyway, won’t open for whole night but this move is really encouraging. We will extend the timings may be to 2 am so that we can cater to the crowd that likes to eat out late in the night, says Amit Bagga, founder Daryaganj.
Chef Radhika Khandelwal, owner, Fig & Maple also believes that being open 24x7 might not help smaller businesses, “A small establishment like ours won’t go for a 24 hour operation. We will instead look at extending hours of space, especially if the bars can be open post 1am but easing of license will be a big help.” For Nikhil Arora, co-founder, The Tummy Section, this might be an opportunity to come up with disruptive ideas in the restaurant sector. He says, “This decision will help in to get some more unique concepts by young restaurateurs and entrepreneurs in F&B industry which will be great to watch in coming months.”
Yangdup Lama, founder of Sidecar and Cocktails and Dreams, Speakeasy too welcomes the positive move but states, “This help in ease of doing business during difficult times but one needs to understand that with 24 hours concept, it might not boost sales but add to the high cost of running operation which also goes up.”
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