“In view of the increase in positive cases it was decided to close the restaurants and bars and to allow ‘take away’ facility only. It was also decided to allow operation of only one weekly market per day per zone,” tweeted, Anil Baijal, Delhi L-G yesterday giving another blow to the restaurant sector.
With Covid cases on the rise, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) decided on meeting yesterday to close all dining-in facilities at restaurants and bars from today.
However, restaurants can run the takeaway services.
The restaurant industry experts and owners have shown their disappointment by calling it a ‘death’ to the already suffering sector. They also mentioned that it is very sad and disheartening to see that restaurant Industry is the only sector which has been singled out every time. “We are one of those sectors that always work in a safe closed environment with all the safety protocols in place but being asked to shut down while some other activities like Airlines, Public Transport, Markets, Gyms, Yoga Institutes, Construction Projects etc continue to function,” said a statement from NRAI.
However, according to officials present in the DDMA meeting, the sharp increase in the number of Covid cases and deaths over the past two weeks has authorities worried. According to reports, one in four persons in Delhi tested positive for Covid on Monday, even as we have seen less number of cases yesterday as compared to a day ago.
In an Instagram post, Gaurav Chawla, Corporate Chef at First Fiddle Restaurants shared, “Don’t know what will end first, restaurant industry or pandemic.”
But, if we look at restaurant industry at global level, no country has completely shut the dining operations recently. But in India we already saw 25 per cent restaurants collapsed last year in 2nd wave lockdown and over 24 lakhs lost their jobs. These new guidelines are going to be even further detrimental for the industry.
“Covid virus doesn't impact politicians recovering from Covid or returning from overseas & skipping mandatory quarantine protocols. It only impacts the double vaccinated diners at restaurants,” shared Anurag Katriar, Founder, Indigo Hospitality in a tweet this morning.
Also, if we look at data, there are about 95,187 eateries in Delhi between organised and unorganised. Out of this 32,777 are organised Restaurants (with FSSAI number and GST). While unorganised will also take the brunt of these new guidelines, but the real brunt will come from the Organised Segment as they have a complete chain/employees, Govt taxes, Suppliers etc. and Revenue generated per year from Organised Restaurants in Delhi is INR 31,132 crores. Also, dine-out frequency in Delhi is maximum, 6 times per month compared to national average of 4.5 times per month whereas takeaway/delivery is meagre. All of this is going to be standstill once again!
The industry body also showed its worry about the fate of 3,01,715 people employed in Delhi Restaurants. “We don’t want them to suffer but unfortunately, we don’t have adequate resources to support them for long,” it added.