The Maharashtra state government, led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackarey, has agreed to allow restaurant owners in the state to provide dine-in services from the first week of October.
While the restaurateurs are all set to resume business, they are also prioritising guest safety and taking all the necessary precautions. They are also optimistic that the reopening of eateries will help revive the dining industry which has taken a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
ET Panache spoke to several restaurateurs to know their thoughts on the reopening of restaurants. Here’s what they said.
Arjun Raj Kher - Brand Head of Bayroute & Hitchki
“We welcome this move by the Maharashtra government. This will help revive the restaurant business in Mumbai that has faced severe financial losses due to the expensive real estate, management of inventories and staff allowances in the past six months. It will kick start the popular Mumbai culture of eating out but of course with all safety measures that would be laid down by the authorities.”
Nikita Poojari - Director of Shiv Sagar
“We thank our honourable Chief Minister for allowing us to open in a timely fashion following all safety protocols. Safety of our patrons is of utmost importance and we will strive to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for them.”
Ruchyeta Bhatia, Co-founder & Director of Poetry by Love & Cheesecake
“We’re looking forward to inviting our customers back into our restaurants. We will make sure to be responsible citizens and follow all the covid-19 safety protocols to its fullest. We can’t wait to put smiles on our patron’s faces again and begin the journey to normalcy.”
Sagar Neve - Director, Neve Hospitality
“The decision of allowing restaurants to open for dine-in service in Maharashtra will revive the restaurant industry which supports over 6 million direct employees and over 100 million indirect individuals. It's a chain reaction that influences almost 2 million individuals and households. The allowance of 50% capacity is a transition into the new normal in a slow and efficient way.”
Prathik Shetty – Partner of 1522 Bar & Kitchen
“The move will bring reassurance for Mumbai’s dining out and restaurant industry that have been under frightful financial strain as our businesses remained shuttered since March.This is a huge sigh of relief for employees with a conception of not knowing whether they’re going to get a job in the near future. This move should certainly reduce the percentage of restaurants looking to shut down permanently. Assuring the safety of our guests and employees will be our top priority.”
Annie Bafna- Founder & Director of The Nutcracker
“Happy to hear the government's decision to open up restaurants. This will require us to put in place many new processes to give the customer comfort on hygiene and safety. However, I think people realise that coronavirus is here to stay for the near future and they want to move back to some level of normalcy. While there may be an initial hesitation, eventually people will start going out if they feel comfortable in the space they are visiting. Keeping fingers crossed and excited to finally be able to open up our doors.”