Bars, restaurants can now stay open till 11:30pmUpdated: Oct 24, 2020, 20:11 IST
Restaurants and bars in Pune have been allowed to operate till 11:30pm starting from Sunday, a move that will take eateries back to pre-Covid status.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) chief Vikram Kumar on Saturday issued an order extending timings for bars and restaurants from the current deadline of 10pm to 11:30pm following a demand from eateries.
Hindustan Times in its October 22 edition had reported about PMC commissioner likely to extend the timings after restaurant owners had approached the civic chief demanding an extension.
Hotel association representatives claimed that their business time is mainly in the evening, but due to 10pm restriction, they have not been able to do enough business.
Kumar said, “The decision has been taken given that the bars and restaurant operators need to run the business with 50 per cent capacity and maintain enough social distance between customers between two tables.”
The city restaurant owners welcomed the civic chief’s decision.
Arvind Shinde, a hotelier, said, “We welcome the decision. Restaurants and bars have been running at fifty percent capacity and this move will help bring in more customers.”
Earlier, Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers’ Association in their letter has stated “in these dire times of financial crises it would be helpful to allow dine-in timings up to 11:30 pm daily. The current take away/parcel businesses constitute only a small percentage of the business, also dine-in operation limited till 10pm has deferred customers from walking into restaurants as they will be forced to leave at 10pm”. The letter also states that many will remain unemployed if the current 10pm deadline is continued and also gave references of Navi Mumbai Municipal corporation, Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation and Thane Municipal Corporation have extended the dine-in operations till 11:30pm.
However, even as restaurants and bars have been allowed to restart their business, many eateries have not resumed dine-in business. Some of them have in fact permanently closed.
Of the 8,500 restaurants associated with Pune hoteliers’ association, in Pune city only 2,500 have resumed their services. Other restaurants have not started have or closed down during the lockdown due to business becoming not feasible.