COVID-19 in Mumbai: Hoteliers lament on night curfew imposition; call it 'as good as lockdown' - Expert News

COVID-19 in Mumbai: Hoteliers lament on night curfew imposition; call it ‘as good as lockdown’

The restaurant business had just begun picking up the pieces after the lockdown and slowly returning to a semblance of normalcy. But the night curfew imposed by the state government from Sunday, wherein eateries are not allowed to stay open after 8pm, has left restaurateurs fuming. They say it is as good as a complete lockdown.

The owner of a restaurant chain in South Mumbai and the western suburbs, Shailendra Shetty, says their business only starts after 8pm, with families arriving for dinner. “Nobody eats at 7pm. The government has no sympathy for our business. We, along with the hospitality sector, suffered the most during the lockdown,” he says.

Restaurant owners recall how their staff, who had left the city following the prolonged lockdown, had returned once restaurants were allowed to open in early October last year. Many arranged for their staff’s train and air fares to bring them back. Now that the staff is all here, their salaries, food and accommodation has to be taken care of. To add to the costs are the roof-high rents in Mumbai and around 70 per cent of hotels operate out of rental premises. “The industry is over. The after-effects of this will be felt for two to three years,” says Shetty.

With offices adopting work-from-home and very limited staff working in offices, restaurant footfall had already been reduced. Mahendra Karkera, owner of a popular seafood restaurant in Fort, says that business once lost is lost. “You can’t eat today’s food tomorrow,” he points out.

Source link

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: