Monday, March 30, 2020


Restaurateurs back 21-day lockdown imposed by PM in wake of Coronavirus
Thursday, 26 March, 2020, 15 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The ongoing 21-day lockdown imposed across India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which is aimed at containing the spread of the Coronavirus, is garnering the support of restaurateurs.

Rahul Bajaj; director and conceptualiser, Out Of The Blue and Deli By The Blue, stated, “The decision of the Prime Minister to announce the nationwide lockdown was a must and need of the hour to curb the spread of COVID-19 and it is increasing at a deadly pace.”

“As this pandemic ends, we all will come out stronger together. To maintain utmost care and cleanliness discipline, we have made a lot of our staff members to stay in quarantine at our Le Sutra Hotel,” he added.

“We are keeping the staff well-equipped with food. We are also making them engage in recreational activities like carrom, table tennis, and other games to keep them physically active and healthy. We are also training and teaching them the process to ensure proper sanitisation, safety measures, etc. in the form of engaging team activities,” Bajaj stated.

“Proper care and safety measures are taken in terms of the staff taking precautions like wearing masks, using sanitisers at regular intervals, etc. while performing these team tasks,” he added.

“We are also being creative with regard to these activities so that our staff is not bored with the same drill, and at the same time, takes some learning out of it. If anyone out there is in need of food, we are also providing them with that in a perfectly sanitised manner,” Bajaj said.

“We have also ensured the staff that they would get their salaries and no one would be losing their jobs. The staff is provided with face masks, sanitisers, Dettol and basic food for themselves and their families, watchmen, sweepers and security guards in the neighbourhood areas,” he added.

“We have also started keeping food and water by our restaurant for the stray animals and birds, so that they don’t starve while people cannot go out and feed them during these times,” Bajaj said.

“The bakers and the staff that is living with us are hygienic and also follow proper steps of sanitisation. We, at Deli By The Blue, make fresh loaves of bread every morning and other food items that are not easy for the people out there to get hold of at the moment,” he added.

“We are selling an extensive variety of fresh baked products like donuts, bagels, bagel sandwiches, etc to satisfy their palate. The deli also has vegan cheese, savoury treats like croissants and quiche, keto meals and ready-to-pick sandwiches,” Bajaj said.

“To keep your health and nutrition quotient in check one can also choose from our range of juices that are pure, natural with no added sugar. For those who like to make their own sandwich suiting their taste-buds, we have a unique variety of mustard sauces to add the right amount of spice and flavour,” he added.

Prasuk Rajendra Jain, managing director, Chiliad Procons Pvt Ltd, said, “We totally support the curfew implemented till April 14, 2020, as it is not easy to lose family members. The Prime Minister is thinking for the betterment of the nation and all the citizens without any self-interest.”

“However, the spread of coronavirus has now turned into a disruptive financial contagion globally, and it will take time for several businesses to recover and that is only possible with the support of the Government. We should unite today for a beautiful tomorrow,” he added.

Aakash Sethi, co-founder, Sweetish House Mafia, stated, “It is a strong move in the right direction. However, the Government needs to understand that most restaurants have already shut, and the ones open have barely any revenue. There needs to be a support to cover fixed overheads like rent salary interest payments, etc., failing which you will see mass layoffs.”

“The government has to come up with some sort of schemes or subsidies for MSMEs (medium, small- and micro enterprises) to heal the burden whether it's from a taxation perspective, salary cost or the rent. Otherwise, we are going to see a tough time ahead,” he added.

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