The move to allow shops and eateries to stay open throughout the night saw a rather tepid response over the weekend. The only significant uptake in business was seen in takeaways and food deliveries by food app providers from these establishments which were open in the night.
The Maharashtra cabinet gave its nod to the proposal to allow malls and eateries to remain open in Mumbai 24×7 on Wednesday, kicking in the pilot project from January 26 midnight. Several establishments had, however, decided to keep themselves open 24×7 on Friday night itself to tap into the weekend crowd.
Many, however, claimed the returns were not commensurate with the expenses in keeping the place open through the night.
At Growel’s in Kandivali, a dessert shop manager, said while they were expecting better response in the weekend, it remained low. On Saturday, while there were three-four walk-in customers beyond the usual time of 10 pm, on Sunday, there was just one customer.
“There has to be promotion of this project with either pamphlets or advertisements. Most people do not seem to be aware about this. We only got a few customers from the crowd which was leaving the multiplex. Even among them, many were not even aware that the shops are open,” said the manager.
However, state Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is the prime mover behind the Mumbai 24×7 initiative, sounded optimistic.
“It would gather pace in the coming weeks when people will start realising that it is safe for them to come out late night and enjoy,” Thackeray told reporters. He said a huge response to the move on the very first night was anyway not expected.
The BMC said that the poor response to the Mumbai 24 hours could be because of lack of awareness and not many people know about this plan is in place.
“This is initial phase and industry has to popularise it and try to find out solutions. Also, the majority of the people are not aware about this plan. When word will spread about the plan there will be better response. We are compiling a list of the eateries and malls that are willing to operate in night,” said Assistant Municipal Commissioner of G-South ward (Worli) Sharad Ughade, who is also nodal officer for the plan.
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