Delhi bar, restaurant owners pin hopes for full occupancy post-lockdown

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New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The bar and restaurants in Delhi have been granted permission to reopen dine-in spaces at 50 per cent occupancy after being shut for nearly two months. However, the owners now pin their hopes for full occupancy as they consider the 50 per cent restriction to be a major hindrance for getting business back on track.

Most of the restaurant and bar managers in the city think that though the businesses are coming on the track slowly in the post-lockdown era, relaxation in occupancy in dine-in service can prove a boon for the industry.

Pushpendra, manager at dine-out 38 Barracks restaurant in Connaught Place, said, “The business is getting normal now, but we are compelled to follow the rule of only 50 per cent of occupancy which affects our daily sell out.”

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has extended the opening hours for restaurants and bars in the capital city. The restaurants and bars are now allowed to remain open till their normal closing timing at 12 in midnight with 50 per cent seating capacity restriction.

The SinCity club official said, “The extended timings till midnight have proved good for our business, but we expect better in the post-lockdown period. The 50 per cent occupancy restriction impacts the business.”

OMG cafe manager in Connaught Place B.S. Rawat said, “We get good footfalls on weekends, but on weekdays we see a considerable decline in the number of people visiting the bar. Even Corporate meetings and parties are not being held because of social distancing norms which have a telling impact on the industry,” he said.

“As we have witnessed two surges of Covid, people are facing budget constraints and they are willing to save for the future. If tourists start visiting the restaurants, we can be hopeful for revival in the industry”, said Rawat.

A multi cuisine Mamagota Restaurant manager in Khan Market, Satyendra says that almost 90 per cent of businesses have come back on track. The restaurant serving Asian Continental food has waiting of one hour on a regular basis. “As we have the restriction of only 50 per cent of occupancy,” he says, “The food delivery service is on the rise which ultimately makes up for our revenue in total.”

Prashant, manager at The Chatter House, told IANS, “The industry has revived up to 70 to 80 per cent as we have long waiting hours at the restaurant. However, we follow the 50 per cent occupancy norm. The footfalls are increasing every day which results in long waiting times,” he said.

Hiritk Choudhry, who is a manager at the Italian restaurant Tera Vita in Khan Market says that the guests are not hesitant any more to come out and enjoy themselves. They no longer fear Covid infections as most of them now have been vaccinated fully and also the daily cases are on the decline. He said that the restaurant is completely packed up on weekends and 80 to 90 per cent footfall is on the weekdays.

Even with a limited seating capacity and other safety protocols like social distancing in place, the bar and restaurant industry are on the track to revive in the post-lockdown era in Delhi. However, they pin hopes on full occupancy to see the business flourish again like the pre-Covid times.

–IANS
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