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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Delhi: Welcome move, 25 was irrational, says F&B sector

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Handmade Restaurants (which runs brands like SOCIAL and Smoke House Deli) said, “The industry welcomes the move. Twenty five was a very irrational age, particularly because neighbouring states had an age limit of 21. Further, the policy will also help get rid of the liquor mafia.”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 23, 2021 1:47:53 am
Those under 21 will not be allowed into establishments unless supervised. (Express archive)

The restaurant industry responded positively to the Delhi government’s decision to lower the legal drinking age from 25 to 21, calling the move a welcome one.

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Handmade Restaurants (which runs brands like SOCIAL and Smoke House Deli) said, “The industry welcomes the move. Twenty five was a very irrational age, particularly because neighbouring states had an age limit of 21. Further, the policy will also help get rid of the liquor mafia.”

The Delhi government also introduced “age gating”, which means that those under the age of 21 will not be allowed into establishments unless supervised. Regarding this, Amlani said, “It is the responsibility of every restaurant to ensure that they don’t allow those below 21 if unsupervised. We do this in all our restaurants, regardless.”

Zorawar Kalra, Founder of Massive Restaurants which includes brands like Farzi Cafe, Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra and Pa Pa Ya, said, “This is a very progressive move and will get Delhi on par with Bengaluru, Goa, Mumbai and other key cities and states. This will also prevent young adults from binge drinking and will legitimise safe consumption. However, service and consumption must still be done very responsibly. For this, the entire industry is ready to come together.”

The opposition, meanwhile, has challenged it. Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta opposed the decision to hand over government-run outlets to private players, alleging it was aimed at minting money. He said a party delegation will meet the Lt. Governor on Tuesday to protest against the policy. Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Anil Kumar said the new excise policy will lead the youth astray and bring ruin to the national capital.

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