The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) that represents the interests of over 500,000 restaurants in the country has advised all its members on March 17 asking them to shut their operations from March 18 to March 31, following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
The NRAI press statement says, “In view of the serious health risk to lakhs of employees and millions of patrons in the food service sector, we had to take this decision.”
“We find ourselves today in an unprecedented situation where we are compelled to make some difficult decisions which have massive financial implications on our businesses but we are doing this in the larger benefit for our teams, our guests and our communities.”
Also extending support to this initiative is Riyaaz Amlani, CEO and MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants and a member of NRAI. He says, “We have intensified our safety and hygiene protocols across all our outlets and workspaces. Our goal is to always give you a safe and comfortable experience at our restaurants, and we will take every measure to ensure this happens seamlessly.”
He further adds, “We will be happy to close our restaurants and support the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, but the industry needs the support of the government in this. We have to ensure our employees get their salaries, and this can be if the government assists us by nullifying excise feeds and charges, VAT, and reduces license fees.”
Many NRAI members are all out and supporting this decision.
Gauri Devidayal, partner, Food Matters India and co-founder of The Table, Colaba took to Twitter to state, “Due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, we, along with other NRAI members have unanimously decided to temporarily discontinue operations of all our establishments until March 31. Hard decision, but one that will ensure the safety and well being of our guests and staff.”
Meanwhile, First Fiddle Restaurants has already implemented this change. Priyank Sukhija, CEO and managing director tweeted:
NRAI also states that this decision for restauranteurs to shut their operations is voluntary, and not mandatory.