As Maharashtra witnessed signs of a second surge and cases started to mount up significantly, restaurant across the state has been closed for 30th April. This is going to impact largely on the Food and the hospitality industry which is still reeling under the pressure of recovery from the 1st lockdown. The restaurant owners are saddened with the new guidelines for the sector which for completely shuts down the sector. Also, they believe that to operate only with deliveries that too up to 6 PM in Pune and 8PM in other parts of the state make no commercial sense at all.
“Pandemic was one of the most disastrous events of the century and the hospitality industry was the most affected industry during this period. However, an array of hope was seen since October and the business was gradually picking up across the country. While few brands touched almost 70% of the previous year’s sales figures almost all brands have crossed 50+ sales. The proposed night curfew will adversely affect the business and it will go down to the level of 20 – 25% of Same Store Sale Last Year as both Hitchki and Bayroute as a format was more concentrated on dinner business,” said Aji Nair - COO - Mirah Hospitality that owns Bayroute, Hitchki & Rajdhani chain of restaurants.
Sharing his disbelief on the same, Celebrity chef and entrepreneur Saransh Goila of Goila Butter Chicken posted on Instagram that Mitron, note kar lo, bookhe pet mat sona. Restaurants and delivery stores are both only on for take away and delivery before 8 PM in Mumbai.
The stringent restrictions on mall entries have already reduced the footfall in the mall drastically and thus the sales have come down to 0 level. Most of the business houses were just managing the operations with huge losses including the lockdown damages and the current curfews will add fuel to the ongoing crisis.
“This will not only cripple the currently struggling and dying hospitality industry but will permanently wipe out 60% of local restaurant companies. The ones that will survive will be the ones with deep pockets, and those are the ones who have been serving 3 months frozen ingredients and other unhealthy food,” added Dharmesh Karmokar, Director - Luciferous Ventures that operates Thangabali, Light House Cafe and Esora.
Anish Dutta of Sabores Bistro & Bar said on his Instagram posted said, “A restaurant doesn’t have a WFH, a restaurant works round the clock to create a social life for the society.”
The local restaurants who serve freshly made food buying from our local farmers and vendors will all be crippled. It’s a domino effect which will do all the way back to the local farmer, pointed the industry experts.
“Given the restaurants in these cities are already operating at around 60% of pre-COVID numbers, 20% outlets were forced to convert to Dark Kitchens while 30% of the restaurants in Mumbai & Pune have shut down permanently. Most restaurants are taking COVID-safe measures by adopting contactless tech in their daily operations to ensure the least possible contact and risk while living through the pandemic. These measures to close dining out and operate only for takeaway & delivery will leave no room for their survival,” pointed Ankit Mehrotra, CEO & Co-founder – Dineout by adding that dining out contributes 80% of restaurant revenues, with over 60% of the business happening on weekends.