There is a growing fear about economic losses among hotel and restaurant business, but there is also a major concern over losing manpower, stated Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI). The migrants employed in the restaurant business have realised that with the drop in business, there are chances that businesses may shut down. So, many have packed and have started to move out of the state.
“There is still fear of last year (2020 nationwide lockdown) among the employees today. Even though most businesses supported their employees, they preferred going back to their place of origin. They have started to move out already,” stated Pradeep Shetty, Senior Vice President, HRAWI. He added small to large hospitality businesses depend on migrants from the state and outside.
Due to the 2020 lockdown and its impact, around 30 per cent of hotels and restaurants in the country have shut down permanently due to financial losses. Around 50 per cent of hotels and restaurants continue to run into losses in the country even today.
As per the state government's order, take-away orders, parcels and home delivery services will only be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday. On weekends only home delivery services shall be allowed between 7 am to 8 pm and there shall be no visiting any restaurant or bar for ordering purposes or pickup. “More than home delivery, it is usually dine-in experience that customers enjoy during the weekends. The weekend business will be lost now,” Shetty added.
Maharashtra has around 10,500 hotels and 2,10,000 restaurants. The Hospitality industry especially, the small and medium hotels and eateries are in deep financial trouble. The HRAWI has warned that without Government’s intervention and support, the industry is staring at a disaster.
Shetty stated that the weekend lockdown means that the restaurant business will lose 70 per cent of its business. “Hotel business is already in a standstill, but now restaurant business, which was getting 40-50 per cent pre-COVID level business, will be back to zero.”
He went on to add that hotel and restaurant business will not have enough strength to pick up from the ground. “The state government will have to support us,” Shetty stressed.
“We are doomed this time around if we are expected to do both, shut for business and not receive any relief. The Government has to meet us somewhere in between. Shut us but do justice to the owners, staff and their families. Take care of the salaries. Unburden the owners of the property tax, waive off the statutory fees, don't generate electricity and water bills until the industry becomes completely operational again," urged Shetty.