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Restaurant owners apprehensive of opening even as government sanctions dine-in service with 50% capacity

Chennai, July 5(BPNS)

The restaurant owners of Chennai are apprehensive of opening their cafes and hotels, as they are expecting only a 30% footfall in the shops after the closure for two months.

In Chennai, the restaurants are permitted to open with 50% of their capacity but most of the hotels and restaurants will not be opening and are adopting a wait and watch attitude.

K.T. Srinivasa Raja, managing director of the  Adayar Ananda Bhavan chain of restaurants said most of the owners have decided not to open their shops. While speaking to BPNS the hotelier said, “The owners are apprehensive on the possible footfalls and most are adopting a wait and watch approach to the government order to open the restaurants from Monday. Most of the workers have left home after the second wave commenced with some leaving for North India and others in the villages of Tamil Nadu. We will consider opening after a few days.”

However, some other restaurants have decided to open shops and have welcomed the government decision. While most of the restaurants will be serving the South Indian menu as most of the cooks who are experts in North Indian cuisine have gone home and the restaurant owners are expecting them to be back in the state to provide a regular cuisine.

Manoj Ramanathan, owner of a multi-cuisine restaurant at Anna Nagar (East) in Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “We are opening the shops with 50% capacity as directed by the government. We will be keeping half the tables and chairs in the restaurant and will be covering the tables with acrylic covers so that we could sanitise them periodically along with cleaning them. We are expecting only 30% of the business but are optimistic that it will catch up in the days to come. All the standard protocols would be maintained in our place.”

Even as most of the restaurants are apprehensive, some have taken the risk and already opened. Moideen Ahmad, a restaurant owner who sells non-vegetarian food in his shop at Triplicane and hails from Kozhikode in Kerala said, “ Yes we have opened the shop and most of our employees are from Kerala and we are into Chicken biriyani. I think there is considerable rush in the shop since we opened shutters today morning. I hope this tempo is maintained.”

While most of the restaurants and their associations are not yet ready to open their shops even after the government guidelines allow them to open with 50% strength, some who have opened has got brisk business and this may trigger others to open their restaurants and to capitalize on the possibility of conducting average business.