NRAI Statement on Delhi Government’s New COVID Guidelines on behalf of Mr Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI.
April 15, 2021, New Delhi: “The decision by the Delhi Government to impose a weekend lockdown and weekday night curfew is a direct result of the growing caseload and perhaps the advent of the second surge of COVID. Unfortunately, this brings us to square one; the same place we were standing aimlessly a year ago at the peak of the pandemic. Once again, our restaurants are relegated to being delivery kitchens, a sense of pessimism has replaced our short-lived optimism and we are once again back at fighting for our mere survival.
Hospitality has been one of the most affected sectors due to the pandemic. We were closed for most part of last year. We opened up gradually with restricted capacities and curtailed operating hours and fought hard to regain some of our lost vibrancy. Just when things were looking up, this second wave has come as a massive dampener and has undone whatever small gains we had made. As per the new notification, we are supposed to keep shut our primary activity, i.e., dining in, and just operate the ancillary activity home deliveries for prescribed hours. This is not a sustainable model for restaurants, pubs, bars and casual diners. Similarly, a cap of 50 people for wedding & parties renders catering segment financially untenable. This directive will only provide marginal help to the cloud kitchen segment.
While we understand and support this decision in larger public health interest, we request the government for lending us some critical support within the delivery segment. To begin with, we request the Government to allow round-the-clock home delivery of food in lines with what Mumbai has done. Secondly, we urge the Government to smoothen the process of e-passes and issue clear directions to the law enforcing agencies so that our workers, who are also frontline warriors, are not subjected to any undue harassment by these law enforcing authorities. As one of the most badly bruised sectors, this is the least we expect from the Government as we struggle to ensure that the kitchen fires are kept burning in the homes of our employees.
I reiterate that as a responsible industry body, we are with the Government of Delhi in this fight against the pandemic. We assure them that we will inspire all our members to strictly follow all stated protocols and guidelines and expect similar reciprocation from the Government. We consider ourselves as partners to the Government in this grim battle against the pandemic and expect to be treated as partners in return.”
About National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)
National Restaurant Association of India is the voice of the Indian Restaurant Industry. Founded in 1982, it represents the interests of 500000+ restaurants, an industry valued INR 4,23,865 crores.
Being the leading association of the Indian restaurant industry, NRAI aspires to promote and strengthen the Indian Food Service Sector. The Association in its 38th year has a pan India presence with members comprising of restaurants and suppliers.
NRAI is governed by a committee of members and led by a President and Office Bearers. The committee consists of over 35 Restaurant CEOs / Owners representing various national and international brands from the F &B sector. The association works closely with a network of State and City chapter partners in Mumbai, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi, Noida and Chandigarh and will open new chapters in others cities soon. The Chapter activities include:
- · Ground work and action pertaining to government issues and representations
- · Facilitate the exchange of knowledge & experience
- · Provide support in the overall development of the association
NRAI aspires to lead the Indian Restaurant Industry to greater profitable growth. It represents the interests of members through advocacy, training, research and industry events.
NRAI aims to
- · Advocate changes in the laws governing the Indian Restaurant Industry at local, state and centre levels,
- · Provide opportunities to educate members
- · Play a key role in promoting skilling and career opportunities for industry professionals through the Hospitality Sector Skill Council.