Pune: Restaurants are still awaiting the go-ahead to recommence operations and allow dine-in services in the city. Until then, restaurant owners will have to rely on deliveries to run their business.
Restaurant owners in Pune have started running from pillar to post to seek nod to resume dine-in services. The Uddhav Thackeray government had permitted restaurants to resume operations from June but only for parcel and home deliveries, with a complete restriction on dine-in services.
Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers’ Association (PRAHA) President Ganesh Shetty talking to Sakal Times said, “The union representatives are meeting every possible government functionary from MLAs to Ministers as well as the Chief Minister but we are not getting any confirmed date to resume services. It’s been long we are urging the government to allow dine-in services.”
“We recently met NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and MP Supriya Sule and requested them to permit us to serve dine-in facilities for at least 40 per cent of the capacity. The restaurants can’t sustain only on deliveries and takeaways,” Shetty informed.
Also, BJP MLA from Shivajinagar Siddharth Shirole wrote a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting him to lift the restrictions on the restaurants.
“It has been over 6 months since restaurants across Maharashtra have not been allowed to open doors to for dine-in customers. While Hotels, Public Transport and Malls are allowed to re-open, restaurants with similar crowd gatherings have been subject to unfair restrictions,” Siddharth wrote.
“Although the first months of restrictions was understandable, the State's reluctance to allow dine-in services even after the Central Government's notification to relax guidelines has truly been detrimental to the survival of the restaurant industry,” he added.
Meanwhile, restaurant owners are claiming that it has become ardent for them to run their businesses with just take-away being permitted. Many owners alleged that the business is only 1-2 per cent in comparison to the pre-lockdown period. However, the expenses have not been condensed to any extent. The owners are struggling to pay monthly rent, a salary of the employees, maintenance of equipment and electricity bills amid five months of lockdown.