With an order from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) lifting time restrictions on the operations of restaurants, shopping malls and other establishments, thousands of people associated with the industry have said they hope business will return to normal. normal and would help recover losses.
Starting Tuesday, restaurants and bars across the city will no longer need to complete operations before 10 p.m., a deadline that has restricted activity and operations during a crucial window of the day.
The state imposed a full lockdown in the capital from April 19 amid an intense increase in Covid-19 cases. As infections began to decline, the government began implementing a gradual easing process from May 31. Markets were allowed to open daily from June 14, but with restricted working hours until 8 p.m. Meanwhile, restaurants have been allowed to open until 10 p.m.
Restaurant owners said restrictions on evening business were reducing dinner sales and hampering recovery.
“We welcome and applaud the relaxation of rules by the Delhi government in terms of hours of operation. This is an extremely encouraging decision for the F&B [food and beverage] industry, which will help us to recover and relaunch our activity slowly but surely. Many of our guests, both at SOCIAL and Smoke House Deli, have wanted to stay past 10pm and extend their night, and being operational longer will allow us to do just that. It also allows us to cater to our customers comfortably without overcrowding at all times, ”said Satyajit Dhingra, Regional Manager (North), Impresario Handmade Restaurants.
Ahead of the holiday season, a return to normal hours should benefit restaurants looking to cover their losses.
“Our strict safety and health protocols remain in place, with 50% capacity and adequate social distancing at all of our restaurants,” Dhingra added.
Saurabh Suman, director of Pebble Street at New Friends Colony (NFC), said tight hours discouraged guests from visiting the outlet for dinner, a crucial driver of daily sales.
“Customers weren’t comfortable with the closing deadline. People usually arrive for dinner between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Until then, we must already start preparing for the closure. Due to these limitations, people stopped planning dinner outings. “
Welcoming the decision, SN Kaushal, Senior Manager of Kwality Restaurant in Connaught Place, said: “It doesn’t look good when someone is out for dinner and we have to constantly remind them to finish early. Some customers also complain about the same. Now we will be able to serve our guests as before, ”said Kaushal.