YourSpace: Paying extra at restaurants for safety measures necessary, say Pune residents – Hindustan Times

Restaurant News

The entire world has been affected by the pandemic and the Indian economy has also been affected severely. However, the decision of reopening restaurants in the city is a bit tricky. It is of course a risk that will be taken by people, however, there should be strict guidelines to ensure that the Covid-19 norms and safety measures are followed at dine-in restaurants. I’m sure citizens going to restaurants would not mind paying a little more to ensure this. Also, the restaurants need to ensure that social distancing is followed thoroughly. It is then the public’s choice whether to go to the restaurant or not. However, at least the money circulated through this business will help the businesses reach the break-even point. And hence I think, the decision should be taken in a positive light.

Priya Mitra

Be particular about your own safety

Being safe is the mantra to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown was an unavoidable step to fight this invisible global enemy. Every human being has been affected, so was the economy. One such business that took a major blow was the restaurant and bar sector. The government has now allowed this sector to reopen doors and start business from October 5. Many people may think it should not be allowed as it is leisure activity and not essential, but when I think about the business owners of this sector, I feel that for them it is their source of income. So, even they should have the right to earn, but with complete care and precautions which shall keep their guests safe from this virus. If we wish to visit a restaurant and have some good time, we should be very particular about our own safety too.

Kshitij L Deshpande

Better to start dine-in than allow illegal service

I support the decision to reopen restaurants in the city for dine-in. Let’s accept that restaurants are not just a luxury, not at least in a city like Pune where a large section of working people, including both men and women, rely upon restaurants in their routine life. Also, many restaurants in the city have already started serving food discreetly, in an unhygienic way. Customers are eating on the street side. Dining halls are closed, but they have made temporary seating arrangements outside. People are sitting in the side garden or narrow lanes nearby, consuming food items purchased as a ‘parcel’. If allowed, the restaurants can sanitise their dining area and officially serve their customers in a more hygienic and safer way. It can probably save many restaurants from closing down permanently, many hotel employees from losing their jobs, and many owners from going bankrupt. Even after reopening, the small-time restaurants are going to face several challenges on the hygiene part. The increased sanitation expenses might eat up their profits or make them lose customers over increased food prices. I think we as customers should also look at the restaurant business more empathetically and support them in these difficult times.

Mandar Shinde

Restaurants should be closed for some more time

Since March, we all have learned to cook at home and the personal economy of individuals is also under control. But the life of cooks and employees of restaurants has been hampered. The street food vendors have already started their operations and people are also going there. The restaurants should get the opportunity as well. But, even with 50% operational capacity, I feel it’s risky. This could have been closed for some more time. Once the customer leaves, the table and the related area needs to be cleaned and sanitised. For this to take place, the restaurants have to spend more on safety and they will charge extra. Our economy will be hampered definitely.

Harshada Babrekar

Adopt strategies to adapt to changing times

Covid-19 is something that is not going to finish easily and we have to learn to live with it. I think it is time to reopen restaurants and resorts to open up the economy. Also, people now want to step out and have food, so reopening is necessary. Safety during such times depends on both the restaurant owners and customers. With all precautionary measures, owners have to start resorts and customers also need to be supportive. Fewer complaints and more coordination are the two things that help every business restart smoothly. All the owners should consider Covid-19 as a challenge and change certain strategies and be more productive.

Reshu Aggarwaal

Vulnerable people should avoid dining out

Pune’s food service industry was extremely vibrant in the pre-Covid days, providing direct or indirect employment to thousands in its organised and unorganised segments. Though risky, reasons like economic compulsions, pressure from the industry struggling to survive after having incurred massive losses in the last few months, repayment of borrowings, loans taken for infrastructure lying idle, job losses and efforts to bring normalcy in the daily life, must have necessitated this decision. As stated by USA’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, even with reduced seating capacity and the distancing of tables, there is nothing like complete Covid-19 protection in on-site dining, whether indoor or outdoor and that there always will be a risk of infection. From the lessons learned so far, it is evident that 60+ years old, those with pre-existing medical conditions and obese are more vulnerable to this infection. It is advisable for elderly people to avoid dining out till such time we have a vaccine.

Dhairyashil Vandekar

Need to support the restaurant industry

The restaurant industry is struggling across the globe and India is not in a different position. Since the government of India has allowed its operation, then we should welcome this move. We are also well aware that the Covid-19 numbers are still on rise so we should learn to live with this as a part of our life. Furthermore, it is important to let businesses resume with relevant safety measures considering the government reformed rules and guidelines. Several restaurants have already resumed their operations in India and they are witnessing a great response. The first thing is to ensure that the best safety and hygiene standards are maintained. Since the government is yet to share the official does and don’ts so they should start looking for safety and hygiene factors followed by other countries. This is an inevitable reality and we should support the restaurant industry to get it back on track and it is the citizen’s responsibility to follow the proper guideline and ensure no one is violating the laws.

Shalini Sharma

Imperative to follow safety measures

I welcome the decision of reopening of dine-ins at restaurants in a controlled manner. This is not the first pandemic the world has seen and it will not be the last, we have to adapt to changing times. Having said that, it is imperative for restaurants to follow all precautionary measures and safety protocols put down by the civic authorities. It all eventually boils down to every individual to not compromise and become complacent with respect to protecting themselves by following safety procedures. The focus should be consistently on boosting immunity and following safety measures while we are unlocking in a steady manner.

Roshan Shetty

Need to revive our economy

In my opinion citizens should take full responsibility while visiting these establishments. It is the responsibility of these establishments to maintain hygiene and safety of their visitors and staff. The socio-economic standard has fallen drastically and the employees are suffering the most. Compared to the country’s population, the number of Covid deaths is low. We have to move on and strive to revive our lives and our economy.

Manjiree Patwardhan

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