As restaurants are all gearing up to open their doors after almost three month in Unlock 1.0, the health and family welfare ministry has issues guidelines for opening of malls, restaurants, hotels etc.
The restaurants need to disposable menus and napkins at restaurants, contactless technology-based check-in at hotels, and employees with co morbidities and expectant mothers not to be allowed in frontline public dealing jobs — these are a part of detailed guidelines issued by the government for hotels, restaurants and as they resume operations starting Monday.
While following social distancing measures, the ministry has asked all establishments to ensure hand sanitiser dispensers at the entrance, marking out specific places where people could queue up, and ensure only asymptomatic individuals are allowed inside.
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“We will only have 25% of the original seating arrangement. A customer will walk in with disposable plastic gloves, will order through QR code, food will be left on a movable plate that he will have to get himself and serve,” shared Anjan Chatterjee, Founder & CMD, Speciality Restaurants that operates Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta to name a few.
The directive also asked restaurants to encourage takeaways and avoid dine-in as much as possible. “They should have disposable menus and disposable napkins for dine-in. Though shopping malls would be functional, gaming arcades, children’s play areas, and cinema halls inside malls would remain shut,” added the SOPs.
Restaurants in containment zones shall remain closed. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up. Also, the staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.
A standard directive is to not assign public dealing frontline work to persons with comorbidities, pregnant women or elderly people. The guidelines lay down that hotels should offer online forms, contactless check-in and check-outs. Luggage should be disinfected before sending the luggage to rooms, as per guidelines.
“Additional patrons to be seated in a designated waiting area with norms of social distancing,” read the directive.
Restaurants are also advised to operate with not more than 50% of seating capacity. And, Buffet service should also follow social distancing norms among patrons.
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Also, hotels have been asked to promote web-check-ins and use of technology as much as possible. The SOP aims to minimize all possible physical contacts between Staff and Guests and maintain social distancing and other preventive and safety measures against COVID-19.
“For room service, communication between guests and in-house staff should be through intercom/mobile phone and room service (if any) should be provided while maintaining adequate social distance,” the directive added.
“As we navigate and adapt ourselves to the new normal in all aspects of life, there will be a new balance in everything we do including our approach to the business of hospitality. The overall lifestyle changes and the manner in which we do business will have us taking a step out of the box, to ideate and create new experiences that are meaningful, valuable and convenient for our customers,” shared Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International.
Commenting on the same, Anil Chadha, COO, ITC Hotels that earlier ventures into takeaway and online delivery said, “At ITC Hotels, we are committed to delivering world class cuisine experiences that address the needs of well-being through responsible practices which are in harmony with the environment and society. This conforms to our ten year strong ethos of Responsible Luxury. In keeping with the current requirements, special training programmes are conducted and precautions for personal, social, and workplaces are being explained to all associates for awareness and practice. We are re-engineering our guest experiences with zero/low associate engagement (including digital ordering and e-payment solutions).”