With the lockdown and curfew, the hospitality industry is one of the worst-effected sectors. The measures to close dining out and operate only for takeaway and delivery leaves hardly any room for the hospitality sectors to stay afloat. The restaurant owners are pleading with the government to acknowledge their loss and prevent the hospitality industry from collapsing. Here are ways the government can help the industry recover.
1. Offer Financial Assistance To The Workforce
The HRAWI has also appealed for financial assistance to ensure the remuneration of employees, owners, and their families. The government should support the hospitality businesses with a bailout for rent and salaries. In addition, the workforce should be provided with health insurance in case of infection and consequent loss of income.
2. Waive The Statutory Fees & Property Taxes
Soon after the state government decided to shut dining except for home deliveries, the HRAWI has demanded a waiver of all statutory fees and taxes. Reducing statutory fees and property tax can help the landlords pass on the benefits to the tenants.
3. Ease The Water & Electricity Bills
Aji Nair, COO of Mirah Hospitality that owns and operates Bayroute, Hitchki & Rajdhani chain of restaurants said “Most of the business houses were just managing the operations with huge losses and the current curfews will add fuel to the ongoing crisis. The proposed night curfew will adversely affect the business and it will go down to the level of 20 – 25% of Store Sale Last Year.” To help the owners, the government should go easy on the water and electricity bills so that the restaurant owners who are already running losses can pay their staff instead of the bills.
4. Relax Restrictions When The Restaurants Reopen
Dharmesh Karmokar, Director of Luciferous Ventures (Thangabali, Light House Cafe, Esora) said “This will not only cripple the currently struggling and dying hospitality industry but will permanently wipe out 60% of local restaurant companies. The local restaurants that serve freshly made food buying from local farmers and vendors will all be crippled.” To retrieve the restaurants, the government should help change the consumer perspective of restaurants as ‘virus hotspots’. Besides, the government ease restrictions for businesses following COVID-19 guidelines and sanitisation.
The new ‘Break The Chain’ Guidelines enforced by the government is equivalent to a complete lockdown and is giving a huge blow to the hospitality industry.