Nearly 4 lakh restaurants, bars and cafes in Maharashtra, including 15,000 in Mumbai alone, will be eligible to restart their operations starting Monday after a six-month-long lockdown.
While many restaurants across Mumbai were sprucing up their premises in preparation of the opening, a substantial number have decided to take a call on reopening over the next few days, as logistics and the supply of personnel to help operate the services are yet to be worked out.
From asking their customers to download Arogya Setu app to recruiting ground representatives to ensure that social distancing is maintained, restaurant, cafes and bars say that frequent sanitisations and maintaining good hygiene will be key in regaining the trust of the customers.
The people affiliated with restaurants and bars industry said that it is an experiment that will be carried out for the next one month. “It is definitely going to be different from how things worked before Covid-19, so in order to ensure that people keep on visiting restaurants, we will have to keep sanitising the premises,” said Shivanand Shetty, president of Indian Hotels and Restaurant Association.
He added, “More than 8,000 restaurants are part of our association but only 30 per cent to 40 per cent will be opening up on Monday. It’s almost like a fresh beginning for everyone… due to the lockdown, electronic items were not serviced and they have stopped working. So, everyone will gradually restart their restaurants.”
Ramesh Yadav, an employee of Alif restaurant in Jogeshwari, said, “Soon after the lockdown was announced, all our employees left for their native places. We don’t have sufficient workers to restart operations. We are now requesting them to return. For now, we are providing only home delivery service through application-based firms.”
Prajwal Poojary, manager of Shiv Sagar restaurant in Khar, said that in order to ensure safety, they have decided to restart operations with less than 50 per cent of the staffers. “We had more than 60 people employed at our restaurant before the lockdown. Now, to avoid crowding, we have called only 20 people to work from tomorrow because the number of tables occupied will also be less.”
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