On a day when the National Restaurant Association of India asked its restaurant members to close dine-in facility following COVID-19 outbreak, the restaurants’ association in Hyderabad has taken a different path.
“We are not planning any advisory to close the restaurants and hotels in Hyderabad,” said S. Venkat Reddy, president of Telangana State Hotels Association on Wednesday.
‘Panic among workers’
“Our business is down. In the past three days, the footfall has have declined by 50%. Room bookings have also fallen. If the government orders us to close down, we will, but it should support us financially,” said Mr. Reddy. “There is panic among the workers. If we close, many of our staff will have to travel to their native places like Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Karnataka, and that will put them at risk,” he added.
While most of the restaurants stayed open, the upscale cafes and bistros saw sparse crowds in the city. The owner of a well known cafe in Banjara Hills said business was down by 40% on Sunday but, improved slightly on Monday. The owner of a snacks centre near Rajiv Gandhi International Airport said the business was down by 70%.
“We moved to Madhapur four days ago and business is thanda ,” said Ali, owner of a restaurant that specialises in grilled food. “It will be easy for the government to order a closure but we will have to pay the rent, electricity bills, workers’ salaries and other expenses. That will affect us a lot,” said Mr. Ali.
“Restaurants will have no choice but to shut down if the government orders them. I came to know about restaurants and pubs being shut in the Gachibowli area. If the government decides to close restaurants for the safety of people, we will have to accept the decision,” said Ravikanth Reddy, an entrepreneur who runs a popular food blog.