With Maharashtra's five-level unlock plan coming into effect from June 7, restaurants, gyms, salons and other commercial establishments pulled up their shutters after two months.
On Monday, it seemed not many restaurants were ready to start operation on a full scale and it appeared that most of them chose to wait and watch.
Dine-in at the restaurants and eateries have been allowed till 4 pm with 50 per cent capacity. Many hoteliers and restaurant owners have said that, unless the state government extends the operational timeline, their business won't improve. Pradeep Shetty, senior vice president, Hotels and Restaurants Association of Western India (HRAWI), said that only 15 per cent to 18 per cent of the hotels remained operational on Monday. "Most of the restaurants suspended dine-in operations other than a few popular breakfast joints. Business in restaurants usually picks up in the evening. More than 80 per cent of the business in restaurants takes place on weekends. If we aren't allowed to operate during prime hours, then it’s not viable for us to continue operations, as this only increases our expenses," said Shetty on Monday.
Furthermore, he said that the association has appealed to the state government and BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to allow them to operate till 11pm. "Most of our workers have gone back to their hometown due to the lockdown. Unless they come back, it won't be possible for us to start operation in full scale. Till then, we have kept the option for home delivery only," said Ram Parmar, owner of a vegetarian restaurant in Kandivali.
Deepak Koitan, owner of a popular Udipi hotel in Kandivali, known for serving breakfast, said that people only came for takeaway orders on Monday. "We are apprehensive about people stepping out to dine out as of now. So, we have only kept two tables open for dine-in services and have continued with home delivery services," Koitan said.
Gyms and salons also started operation from Monday. Richmond Rebello, a fitness trainer and co-owner of a Malad gym, said that even if the government has allowed gyms to function, they are yet to open their doors for their patrons. "We are continuing with online classes. Like last time, we don't want to rush things and would like to wait for sometime as the government orders can change again," said Rebello.
Ganesh Jagtap, general secretary of a barber's association in the western suburbs, said that most of the barbers have returned to their hometown owing to the lockdown. "If there's no business, then the shop owners have to bear the cost of the electricity bills, which adds up to the losses. So most of them have decided to wait for sometime before reopening the shops," Jagtap said.