Bhopal: Malls, restaurants reopen to low footfall; 10-30 % business on reopening day; All you need to know

As per the guidelines, restaurants and gyms are allowed to admit 50% of the customers into their establishments, however, there is no fixed number of customers for malls.

Staff ReporterUpdated:Thursday, June 17, 2021, 01:27 AM IST
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BHOPAL: Restaurants and malls in the city have reopened after a gap of almost two months on Wednesday to low footfalls. The fear of infection and lack of information about the date of reopening were responsible for the poor customer response, say owners and managers of the restaurants and shops.

They said that their business on the first day was 10-30% of the normal. They are hopeful that the business will pick up in the coming days.

The owners and staff had reached their outlets in the early hours to give the places a thorough cleaning. They opened for customers at around 10.30 am. Almost all the restaurants and shops were observing the corona-protection norms including thermal scanning. Most of the staffers were vaccinated.

Unlike the reopening after the last lockdown, the customers this time are seen more particular about masks and social distancing

The DB Mall had a thin crowd. Sapna, a customer care executive at the facility said that almost all of the around 250 shops and outlets in the Mall have opened. The cleaning of the place began early in the morning and was continuing till late in the afternoon.

Sangeeta Raghuvanshi, a staffer at Cinnabon Cafe at the ground floor in the Mall said that the first thing they did after opening in the morning was to dispose of the ingredients that had got spoiled. "We had to throw away two kg of Cocoa powder," she said, adding that "It is 3 pm now and we have had just four customers till now." She said that the cleaning process would take two more days.

Anas Khan, who runs a perfume shop at the Mall, said that it would take more than a week for the business to normalise. "I have had only two customers. It seems many people are not aware that malls have reopened," he said.

Namrata from Hyderabad, a guest at the Hotel Courtyard by Marriott, was happy that the Mall had reopened. ìIt feels good to find things back to normal. It is a good decision of the government,î she said.

Not even one person had visited Aurelia, a store selling womenís ethnic wear, at DB Mall. ìI think we will have to wait for two-three days,î Mevan, a staffer of the store, said.

Dolly from Karond was enjoying herself at the KFC outlet with her friends. ìThere is a lot of a difference between eating packed food at your home and being properly served in a restaurant,î she said.

Duty officer, Big Bazaar, Zeeshan Khan said that the turnout was ëaverageí.

Naveen Sajwani, owner of Bapu Ki Kutia, MP Nagar, said that unlike after the end of the last lockdown, this time, the customers were very particular about masks and social distancing. He said he has got all his staffers vaccinated. "We have been asked to limit occupancy to 50% but as the number of visitors is already low, we have not been forced to make anyone wait," he said. "After every customer leaves, we get the table and the chair sanitized before seating the next guest," he said.

At Apoorti Departmental Store in New Market, disposable hand gloves were being provided to all the customers. Amul Chand Nagpure, the store manager said that the business was just 10% of the normal.

At Vishal Mega Mart, announcements were being made asking the customers to follow corona norms. Rishabh, the manager of the Mart, said that the business was just 20% of the normal.

KB Unni, Assistant Manager at Indian Coffee House, New Market, said most of the customers were employees of the offices around. According to him, the business was 30% of the normal. He said it would take more than a month for the business to normalise. ìThis time the people are more fearful than they were the last time, he said.

The Milan Restaurant at MP Nagar had only reopened the fast food and sweets counters. ìThe response is okay,î Ishaan Soni, owner of the place, said, adding that they would be opening their restaurant on the first floor in a day or two.

Devashish Ganguly, manager of Manohar Restaurant, MP Nagar said that the place has had 40-50 visitors till 4 pm. ìWe are not allowing more than six persons to share a table,î he said.

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