For a sector that has been struggling to breathe normally for more than 18 months now; the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order lifting timing restrictions for restaurants, bars, malls and other such establishments has given a reason of celebration to the already beleaguered industry.
In last 1.5 years restaurant sector saw as many as 20-25 per cent of the restaurants shutting their shop permanently. With 50 per cent seating allowed, fluctuations in timings and one wave after the other has made many unemployed in the sector. But this has brought a major relief to the sector with restaurateurs expecting to return back to their pre-covid sales soon.
Beginning this Tuesday, restaurants and bars in the national capital region will no longer need to close operations by 10pm, they are now allowed to open till 1 Am or as per the license they have or were running before the pandemic hit the nation.
“The news of extended usual timeline to be able to serve till 1 am is biggest relief of 2021 we have got,” shared Vikrant Batra of Café Delhi Heights with all happiness. He pointed that the sector was suffering huge losses as they were completely missing on dinner table revenues, but now with a policy of usual timings coming back in place, they expect dinner dine in customers back at the outlets enjoying their experience. “This will certainly helps restaurant industry to revive. We will also be able to follow covid norms in better way as increased timings means more tables giving us chance for the better allocation and rotation of tables,” he further added.
Welcoming the move with open arms, Amit Bagga, Co-Founder of Daryaganj restaurant who became an overnight fame with the signature ‘butter chicken’ pointed, “This will immediately be a big breather for the industry and will give more time for customers to be spread out. We request all patrons to follow all safety norms like regularly sanitizing hands and wearing masks while standing up in the restaurants.”
And, there’s no denying that this is what both restaurant and customers were looking for. For an industry whose maximum business relies on dinner and post 10 pm turn around, this has given them a new reason to grow and spread their wings.
“This is certainly what we were waiting for. We have been operating on 50 percent capacity till 10 pm since couple of months and this certainly wasn’t pleasant as we were not able to tap market to our full potential, however we have complete expenses to take care of,” commented Dinesh Arora, Founder, Unplugged Courtyard who has given a new meaning to the Delhi’s nightlife and bra scene. “This was not going well on our sheets, but there was no option, with increased timings we are hopeful that we will be able to revive our night business and this will increase our sales by 25 percent. We urge our patrons to keep following safety norms though so that we don’t come under radar of another lockdown,” he further added.