th June, 2021: According to the revised lockdown directives issued by West Bengal Government, restaurants, cafes, pubs are now allowed to open their doors for customers from 12 pm to 8 pm. The orders included the thorough sanitization of the whole place, 50% occupancy to maintain the social distancing and all the staffs must be vaccinated. The announcement brings back the missing smile among the restaurateurs who were almost counting days only on hope after the closure of the restaurants for over a month. The pandemic caused by Covid-19, slump the F&B industry immensely, going out to have food and drinks became a matter of sheer concern. Amidst all F&B sector started regaining its lost glory from December and January, but again lockdown for second wave halted the entire progression. Now, again with the decrease in the number of active cases in the state, the Government took a step forward towards normalcy by opening the pubs for the stipulated time. Swastik Nag, the owner of Canteen Pub & Grub, says, “We are extremely happy with this order. We are already done with sanitization and all our members are vaccinated.” “Many customers message regarding our operating our as we are located inside a mall, but we will be open from 12pm to 8pm every day. We are coming up with exciting new offers” he added.
Restaurateur Siddhartha Gupta, co-owner of Traffic Gastropub, on this issue says: “For us, it felt like a ray of hope amongst the dark times. The possibility of the world around us reverting to normalcy again, but with precautions. Meanwhile, we vaccinated our whole team. We are hopeful about capturing the market again and regaining at least 60% revenue within next 15 days”.
“I am glad to see things opening up again. The lockdowns Haven’t been easy for the hospitality and service industry. I’m glad this time the restrictions have been lifted one after the other. Now it’s our duty to adhere to all rules, continue following all safety protocols and ensure a happy & safe experience for all our guests” said Ms. Sonali Lakhotia, founder & owner, Potboiler Coffee House.
Amit Bajoria, the owner of Lord of the Drinks, says, “Days were extremely distressing since we could not opt for takeaway and home deliveries. But now, I believe everything will take its shape. This time, we are coming back more strongly, keeping in mind all the Government directives to gift our patrons a fresh experience.” The owners of the Aminia chain of restaurants, Kabir Azhar and Asher Ather, are extremely glad about this decision. According to Kabir, “This was a much-awaited day. Though amidst the partial lockdown with our own home-delivery and take away we tried quenching the hunger of our patrons. But we miss them visiting our various outlets. Now, again we are whole-heartedly ready to welcome our patrons at our restaurants”. Amit Kumar Modi and Priti Modi speak of their restaurant Unplugged Courtyard, Kolkata: “This step is a relief for us. Our new outlet was already ready for the customers which we will be opening on 1 st July. The added advantage wepossess is the spacious outdoor dine-in, which will help us to maintain social distancing more efficiently. Nowadays outdoor seating is preferred by all irrespective of ages and presently it’s safer and more recommended”.Abhimanyu Maheshwari, the CEO of Zing Restaurants, expressed his relief after seeing the latest Government directives. According to him, “Just before the second lockdown, we launched Asia! Asia! Asia! Street BBQ & Buffet – India’s first Asian table grill restaurant. Through Asia! Asia! Asia!, one can experience the vibrant streets & culture of Asia even during the pandemic, without travelling to these places. We are keeping our fingers crossed and re-opening Asia! Asia! Asia! in the 1st week of July. We have already started operations of our North Indian chain Rang De Basanti Dhaba and are following all the necessary precautions and protocols. We are optimistic. Hoping for the best. Sanjay Chadha who is planning to launch his new restaurant The Palm’s Kitchen stated, “For last one month, I was sceptical about my decision of launching my new venture. But the Government order paved a hopeful way for me.
Very soon will be launching our new restaurant keeping all the needful in mind.” The relaxation given by Government is undoubtedly going to comfort an incredible amount of pressure that the
second-time lockdown was put on the F&B industry. Of course, revival and recovery are an elongated process, but with this small step, it has begun certainly.