Karnataka Hotels May Reopen by 1 June: CM Tells Restaurant Body
Karnataka Pradesh Restaurant Association has threatened to suspend even takeaway facilities, if not allowed to open
Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa has reportedly assured members of the hotel association on Tuesday, 26 May, that dine-in services could resume across the state by 1 June.
“CM said that he would be writing to the Centre to seek permission. Since even flights have reopened and people are moving around, our services are needed. It is not feasible for us to only have take-away services,”Madhukar M Shetty, secretary of the Karnataka Pradesh Hotels and Restaurants Association (KPHRA).
Last week, members of the KPHRA had threatened to suspend even parcel services after being repeatedly denied permission to reopen. They had met with CM Yediyurappa on 19 May, who had sought more time.
“It makes more sense for us to close. In our earlier negotiations with authorities, they had promised us that they would ease restrictions in the next phase of the lockdown. When they are allowing street vendors, jewellery stores to function, why not us? We are providing an essential service,” he said.
KPHPRA comprising nearly 40,000 units across the state has expressed its disappointment asking why the order restricted restaurants from opening while allowing street vendors, salons and other establishments to run.
There are approximately 1.5 lakh registered hotels and restaurants in the state.
‘Losing Business by Only Having Parcel Service’
Shetty said many of the restaurants were making only 10-15% of the business they used to get.
“In takeaway service, it is like we are running on humanitarian grounds. Only the cooking staff is employed for this and we still have to pay all operating costs of rent and utilities. There is no use for us. We told we will follow all guidelines and have only 50 people in a 200-seater restaurant, but we have been denied that,” he said.
He added that if any restaurant was found breaking the health code, they could be hauled up by the health department and closed down.
“Moreover, we had told employees not to return home and now they are waiting to be called back to work. People will not sit quiet. We expect them to let us open. There are MHA guidelines, but they have allowed street vendors. So why not us?
Manu Chandra, head of the Bengaluru chapter of the National Hotels and Restaurants Association of India, said that many of its members had anyway not been allowed to function through the lockdown, simply because they had liquor licences and were considered likely to be misused for selling alcohol during the lockdown.
“It clearly signals the fact that a majoriry of their revenue would have come from dine-in. For a number of other hotels, the ability to even go for home delivery is stunted due to complicated rules. We are unable to gainfully employee people and keep a trickle of revenue alive,” he said.
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