Dining experiences will never be the same, say restaurateurs, Retail News, AND Retail

Dining experiences will never be the same again, feel the restaurant owners who believe people will be more interested in takeout and online ordering after the lockdown is lifted.

Restaurants in Calcutta are looking to cut in-house catering capacity by 40% to ensure social distancing standards are met and also strengthen their technology infrastructure to handle more online orders.

Nitin Kothari, the owner of the iconic Peter Cat and Mocambo in the Park Street neighborhood, told PTI that seating will be reduced by 40% at its restaurants to ensure enough space between customers.

“We expect there will be less attendance in the dining room as people will be more interested in take out and will not be outside for long,” he said.

All standard safety measures – from maintaining disinfectants to requiring masks for customers and staff – will be followed when the outlets open.

Stating that online ordering will prove to be an important segment of operations for both Mocambo and Peter Cat, Kothari said, “We will make sure our delivery people take all kinds of precautions and address any concerns of our customers. “

He said customer wait times for take out will be short and staggered to ensure there are no crowds at the delivery counter.

“But the question that remains is how long this uncertainty will continue. We hope that the sooner the virus is overcome and the government lift this lockdown, we can get back to normal,” Kothari said.

Suresh Poddar, secretary of the East India Hotels and Restaurants Association, said restaurants have suffered losses in the thousands of crore due to the lockdown and many cannot restart their outlets because of the losses they suffered.

He said the losses could not be recovered after the restaurants opened in the post-containment situation.

Of the 4,500 registered restaurants statewide, a significant number will not be able to resume operations due to the lack of income for such a long time and high rental expenses, Poddar said.

However, those who can restart their businesses will operate with 60% of their seating capacity, he said.

“People may not be as interested in dining out in the new situation and online delivery will take up that space,” he said.

Shiladitya Chaudhury, partner of Oudh 1590, said the effect of COVID-19 would be felt for a long time and people would prefer take-out and online delivery rather than just sitting in restaurants.

“We will open our outlets as soon as we get permission from the government. But the question that remains is when,” he said.

He said that the number of seats would be reduced to 60% and that apart from the use of disinfectants by staff and customers, hand towels will be discarded after a single use and a menu card will be cleaned with disinfectant immediately after being checked by a customer. .

“While we generally don’t encourage table reservations, this time around we will ask guests not to overcrowd the space at a particular time. For example, one group will be invited to come at 7:00 p.m., another group at 8:00 p.m. apply social distancing more effectively, ”Chaudhury said.

Those who come to take out will also be asked to do the same with different slots allotted, he said.

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