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Bars resumed operations on a 'trial basis' in Delhi from Wednesday!

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Some restaurants witnessed better occupancies than before and hoped business will pick up gradually this coming weekend.


As bars resumed operations on a 'trial basis' in Delhi from Wednesday, some restaurants witnessed better occupancies than before and hoped business will pick up gradually this coming weekend. But most restaurateurs and hoteliers said it will be a slow process and not many bars will be operational in the first week. A Delhi excise department official told the department will do surprise checks on restaurants serving liquor to see if they should continue allowing liquor service.


Bars have been permitted in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, except in containment zones, from September 9 to September 30 on a trial basis, subject to strict compliance with standard operating procedures. "It will take a while before all bars are operational in the capital and customer confidence is fully restored. There will be very few that will go first. I think restaurants with operational bars can expect about 40-50% of pre-Covid business till the social distancing norms are in place," said Riyaaz Amlani, chief executive of Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality, which runs brands such as Social and Smokehouse Deli.


Rahul Singh, founder, and CEO of The Beer Café said the real impact of the move will be visible in the next one or two weeks. “COVID has not gone away. Customer confidence is not very high. 50% occupancy is the limit. We are opening all outlets and we will see how it goes. In Delhi, there were 800 restaurants with licenses before COVID. I would like to know how many will open now. In six months, some would have succumbed, some don’t have the money or bandwidth to reopen and the move is also being implemented on a trial basis,” he said.

Some restaurateurs said business on the first day of opening bars was better than before. “Because of the first day of serving liquor in almost six months, the response was better than pre-COVID levels. Nine out of ten people visiting the restaurants on Wednesday asked for a beer while the ratio used to be 5-6 in normal days. By serving liquor, bill size increases while catering to the same number of people,” said Manpreet Singh who operates restaurants such as Zen in Connaught Place, Chungwa in Greater Kailash, and Fujiya on Malcha Marg.


Ankur Bhatia, executive director of the Bird Group which runs Roseate Hotels Resorts said he was expecting more bookings for the coming weekend, but the move would benefit standalone restaurants in retail locations more. The Walk at Worldmark Aerocity also resumed liquor services at its gourmet restaurants. “This is a much-desired step, as this will help in generating more employment. Many will get their livelihood back now. People are looking forward to getting back to normalcy but only with an assurance of safety,” said Mohit Pruthi, head of retail and marketing at Bharti Realty.

Bharti realty operates Worldmark at Aerocity near the Delhi airport which has dining establishments such as Plum by Bent Chair, Le Reve- French bistro, Kampai by Embassy, Dragonfly, One8 by Virat Kohli, La Roca, Farzi Café, Kylin, Punjab Grill, Underdogs, and Café Delhi Heights.


News Courtesy: FE



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Copyright © 2021, All rights reserved.