Covid restrictions eased, Gurgaon catering industry hopes for revival
The catering industry in Gurgaon is seeing signs of recovery as the Haryana government eased Covid restrictions. As the lockdown in the state was extended until June 14, restaurants and bars were allowed to operate under certain conditions.
With restaurant and bar owners facing heavy losses due to the lockdown, returning customers will be a welcome step.
“As it was the first day, there were minor problems in the implementation. But overall it can be said that restaurants and bars are cooperating and almost all establishments are following the rules. The police and the administration are carrying out checks to the maximum of their abilities. Our effort is to ensure that visitors wear masks and that social distancing is maintained. In the event of a complaint, strict measures will be taken,” said Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg.
As per the order, restaurants and bars in malls and stand-alone establishments can operate between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
Restaurants will have to operate at 50% capacity with adequate social distancing measures, sanitizers and masks. The administration conducts surprise inspections and an FIR can be filed under the Epidemic Diseases Act in the event of a violation of the Covid protocol.
On the first day, the restaurants saw fewer people as many still preferred delivery and takeout. The owners think the crowds should normalize, but a trend can only be seen after at least four weeks. Since most restaurants rely on after-hours crowds, the number of people who show up during the day will also be a factor.
Many restaurants are also facing staff shortage issues as many employees returned to their hometowns in Haryana, UP and Bihar during the lockdown.
“It’s a welcome move, but it’s just the start. At this stage, we can’t rely on a big crowd showing up on weekday afternoons. We also need to get to a level of optimal inventory. The required personnel are also required for the resumption of normal operations as well as adequate vaccination to ensure the safety of employees. I believe that within a month we will be in a better position to examine the response. We hope that the relaxations will attract people, ”said Mayank Bhatt, brand manager of the Social channel.
The owners also hope that the fear of going outside will also ease in the coming days.
Zorawar Kalra, Founder and Director of Massive Restaurants, which includes brands such as Farzi Cafe, Pa Pa Ya and Bo Tai, said: “The hospitality industry is the second largest employer of human capital in India and hence enabling restaurants to open, the sector will have a chance to revive. It is now incumbent on restaurants as well as customers to serve and consume responsibly. The biggest hurdle will be getting people to overcome their fear psychosis by making sure they feel safe. We will spare no effort to guarantee this. We hope that the current restrictions will also be relaxed in the coming weeks as cases decline so that the industry can get back on its feet.