Restaurants open for Mumbaikars; staff and customers be thoroughly screened

Mumbai: City restaurants are the latest to take a hit from the coronavirus outbreak with rumours being spread on social media on the virus spreading due to the consumption of non vegetarian food. Their footfall has reduced by 70 per cent, claim owners.

The city is engulfed with the fear that the virus has spread mainly through the consumption of chicken and mutton as well as outside food. As a result, most people have refrained from dining at restaurants. The footfall of customers has dropped by 70 per cent. And, those visiting generally order for vegetarian food, which does not bring in much profit. “The rumours going viral on social media have hampered our business. Consumers have stopped eating chicken, eggs, and other non vegetarian dishes and are turning their back on hotels. As of now, we have not received any advisory by the government for the closure of restaurants and bars. Only pubs and disco bars are to be closed,” said Adarsh Shetty, ex president and advisor to AHAR -Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association.

The weekend turnover for restaurants and eateries is around Rs 80 crore a day. Given the current situation, their loss could be estimated to be around 60 to 70 per cent. “We have advised member establishments to ensure that staff and customers are thoroughly screened. Anyone showing symptoms of cough, cold, and flu should be immediately sent for medical checkup to the nearest government hospital. It is extremely critical that the hotel and restaurant premises be cleaned and sanitised regularly and procedures be followed as per the guidelines from the government,” concludes Pradeep Shetty, joint honorary secretary, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations Of India (FHRAI)

The federation has members across the country and has not yet asked anyone to shut down their establishment. "But yes, we are insisting that everyone who is open to business be extremely aware and vigilant and take all the precautionary measures and follow the directives by the local authorities. We have been issuing the updated advisories as have been received from the ministry of health to our members and have advised that they follow the precautionary measures and guidelines rigorously,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice president, FHRAI.

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