Pubs find no cheers in latest curfew plan
Annus horribilis — or, the
“We were waiting to revive our business during Christmas and New Year this time. The past eight months have been terrible, and now, the new guidelines will make us rethink everything that we had worked for so far,” says
Prathik Shetty, founder, The Reservoire, says that night curfew for almost a week will result in a sharp drop in revenue. “We were hoping to cover up the losses due to the pandemic, but this move will not help the hospitality industry in any way. Compared to last year’s New Year’s Eve, we are expecting almost 40 per cent drop in business,” he says, adding that musicians and DJs who were scheduled to entertain customers, have also been hit. “They too work on a schedule, with charges based on the number of hours, projects and so on. We would have been open till 1 am, but right now, 10.30 pm is the deadline that we have to follow,” Shetty adds. He is also expecting 10-15 per cent of cancellations against reservations that have been made already.
Amit Ahuja, owner of Misu, Lucky Chan and The Open Box, says home delivery will be the only way to stay afloat during the week. “However, it is not the same as customers coming in and having a gala time. If we had been informed earlier about the curfew, we would have made necessary arrangements. We had prepared for two dinner slots — one at 7.30 pm and another at 9.15 pm. The first slot is fine, but we will have to figure out what to do about the rest,” he says, adding that the cashflow along with the people involved in running a restaurant — vendors, owners, employees — will be rattled.
Not surprised, say some
Shiro and Hard Rock Cafe were already gearing up for around 50 per cent drop in business during this time as compared to last year. “Irrespective of the curfew, the seating capacity is already limited, so there won’t be much of a difference from what we were preparing for. Along with the uncertainty in the air, people will now have a clearer idea of their schedule and plan accordingly,” says Akansha Chaudhary, Asst Director (Sales and Marketing),
The move surely does have a negative impact, but Kuncheria Maratt, co-founder,
Similarly, Chef Udayshankar Shenoy, owner and chef at Lazy Suzy, says the business will surely be affected as people will be more worried about returning home by 11 pm. “We need to have a larger view about the situation as the curfew will avoid public gathering and help us in the long run,” he says.