Have you ever woke up past midnight with your favourite pizza and drink in the dream and you crave for it so deeply that you want to order it right away but you are left with no other options other than waiting for the next morning to order it. Here’s good news for you, the Union Cabinet has passed Model Shop and Establishment Act yesterday which allows restaurants and retail shops to open 24*7 allowing you to walk through your favourite food joints whenever you want to.
Benefiting the sector
Today, when restaurant industry is one of the most bludgeoning sectors and is helping India’s tourism and culture to grow such initiative would help the industry grow at a faster pace. The Act will also increase the ease of doing business for retailers and restaurant owners with increase in competition between online and offline players. The implementation of this Act will also generate high employment opportunities. Also it will bring equality in legislative provisions, making it easier for all the states to adopt it and ensure uniform working conditions across the country.
“We welcome the Model Shop and Establishment Act by the Union Cabinet. This is a progressive decision that will benefit the service providers as well as the users, and has the potential to generate additional employment opportunities in the country. For us, the new Act opens up greater avenues for reinventing our service offering for customers and catalyse growth,” says Ajay Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, Jubilant FoodWorks Limited.
Commenting on the same, Riyaaz Amlani, President- NRAI and MD, Impresario Hospitality & Entertainment shares, “Cabinet allowing restaurants and retail shops to open 24*7 has brought freedom very well come. Virtually, increasing employment by one and half shift will also increase employment opportunities and as it will grow up spending pattern consumption pattern will also increase boosting the sector.”
Riding on convenience
And, as the law allows shops, malls and cinema halls, among other establishments to run 24×7 throughout the year, it also covers establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units and will provide freedom to operate 365 days with flexibility on timing to open and close.
"The central government's decision is a welcome one and I applaud their vision. However, a lot needs to be done to ensure this turns into a reality for establishments like ours. A restaurant serving liquor needs multiple licenses to operate. To make it successful, several departments (Local corporations, Police and Excise) will have to change their rules to permit 24x7 functioning of establishments and that may be a challenge. Also, the ultimate decision to adopt or modify the law lies with the respective States and each one has a different policy or act that the bylaws are drawn from. In the current scenario, the biggest benefiters would be large box retailers, electronic stores, fast- food/ QSR outlets and cinema halls. Malls would certainly benefit the most if shops stay open 24x7, since revenue from rentals would double, as well as the CAM (common area maintenance) charges," shares Rahul Singh, Founder and CEO- The Beer Cafe.
Going forward, it also illustrates that women who are employed on night shifts with adequate security and calls for better working conditions for employees such as drinking water, canteen, first aid, lavatory and crèche.
“We have to watch how the states react to it because they have to consider police commission for operation hours as they are more in the faith. We will be more interested to see Delhi perform because it’s the capital,” adds Amlani who is delighted to see the industry bearing fruits.
Adding to the same lines, A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI says, “It is a very progressive move, as it would enable states to choose to keep shops and other such establishments open 24×7 all through the year. This would give substantial boost to employment generation and will also benefit the consumers in terms of more convenience and accessibility.”
“The introduction of the Model Act by the Central Government is a positive step towards revolutionising the shops & establishment regime across India and addressing the needs of the modern day market places. The new Model Act would help in achieving greater freedom at work places and would allow sectors such as food eateries and restaurants to thrive in an environment which is now routinely becoming 24x7 oriented. The Model Act while liberalising the working hours/ operations of these establishments also ensures that the employees do not suffer as a result of these changes and appropriately regulates their working hours and holidays," points Sharad Abhyankar, Partner, Khaitan & Co.
Hence, with Modi’s government bringing more laws in promoting restaurant and food industry we really can say that the industry is going to touch heights in next few years boosting country’s economy and tourism.