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Fine dining restaurants welcome WB govt decision to relax Covid restrictions, Retail News, ET Retail

Fine dining restaurants welcome WB govt decision to relax Covid restrictionsKolkata: Fine dining restaurants in the city on Friday welcomed the decision of the West Bengal government to relax covid restrictions including lifting the 12 midnight to 5 am night curfew saying it would enable both the patrons and the staff to space out the dine out hours and allow the eateries to extend the closing hours if they want. The Director of iconic Peter Cat and Mocambo, Nitin Kothari told PTI “with all the restrictions related to curfew hours and three-fourth seating capacity being waived we hope things will be like pre-covid days.”

He said while earlier the closing time would have been 11:20 pm for his two heritage restaurants, when the night curfew duration was changed from 11 pm-5 am to 12 midnight-5 am slot, following the withdrawal in night curfew hours “we would be able to keep the facilities open on certain days including festivals when the crowd swells till midnight.”

Kothari, however, emphasised the covid protocol like wearing face shield by staff, donning gloves and sanitizing the place regularly will be strictly followed and patrons will be asked to put up mask while entering.

Kabir Azhar, Director, Aminia Restaurants said “Yes, we are aware that the covid curbs are lifted from today. While this is good news, we would still like to maintain hand hygiene, daily sanitization and strictly conduct temperature checks on a daily basis.”

“Besides, masks are still required, and we would definitely keep an eye on that. We believe it is a good practice, as we are very particular about maintaining hygiene and safety while preparing food,” he said.

Azhar added the lifting of night curfew would end the worry of the staff to reach home by 12 midnight and help them to serve the customers in a better way.

Same holds true for customers, he added.

Debaditya Chaudhury, Managing Director of Chowman, Oudh 1590 and Chapter 2 said “it is indeed a great news for us.”

“Months back when the deadline was till 10 pm it was very difficult for us to fetch proper footfall in our dine-in because those were crucially the peak hours . But with the later extension, till 12 midnight, we got a huge crowd,” he said.

“However, it was still a little difficult for us to balance it all at a limited time line during festival days. With the night curfew being lifted, we would definitely get back to our pre-covid process of delivering and keeping dine-in services open late night on significant days like Pujo and Christmas,” he added.

Sudesh Poddar, President of Hotel and Restaurants’ Association of Eastern India said this will certainly help the hospitality sector to return back to the pre-Covid days of 2019.

“Our eatery will be now open till 12 midnight. Earlier the closing hour used to be around 11 pm,” Poddar, who owns two restaurants, said.

“Sales had reached 80 per cent of the pre-pandemic level. With the deferring of closing time we look forward to sales reaching the pre-pandemic level now,” he said.

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