Eat Out 24×7
The Union Cabinet has approved a Model Shops and Establishments (regulation of employment and conditions of services) Act which proposes to allow malls, cinema halls, restaurants and other retailing establishments to remain open on all days, 24×7.
The Cabinet approval, however, does not mean it has become a law as the onus will be on the state governments to adopt the Central Government’s proposed Model Act for retailing. The Act will also not go to the Parliament as it is just a model legislation and is not binding on states.
The food industry is abuzz with discussions over the positive and negative impacts of the law. Here is what big ticket Delhi restaurateurs have to say:-
AD Singh, Owner of Ek Bar
It is a very progressive move as it gives people what they want and stimulates the economy with a very little downside. Retail industry is important to out economy and it has been struggling with the growing shift to online shopping. A step like this will give it a much needed boost and we welcome the initiative.
Zorawar Kalra, Owner of Farzi Cafe
I welcome this move with open arms. I believe all the four stakeholders – Government, employees, citizens and restaurateur – will be benefited from this decision. Longer working hours means the customers will spend more and the Government will earn more from the taxes. The employment opportunities will increase as an extra shift will be added. There is a scope that restaurant industry will become the biggest employment sector.
It is a win-win situation for the citizens as they will be able to enjoy for longer duration. As far as restaurateurs are concerned, they will be earning more revenues and generating more income. They pay rent for the property for 24-hours and now will be able to take advantage of the entire time. I do not see any negative side of it.
Priyank Sukhija, Owner of Tamasha, Lord of the Drinks
Finally, I see some good happening to Delhi’s Nightlife. This is great news. We are delighted as this will go a long way in boosting the economy and employment in India. I am sure that the state authorities would also extend their support now. Normally, we struggle to operate post 12 pm. We see many customers heartbroken when they have to leave our restaurant premises at 12 am. However, I am sure this will bring much happiness around. More than an impact on the business, it marks development of country.
Umang Tewari, Owner Big Fish Ventures
It is definitely a very good news to hear that we will be getting 24 hour licenses now. But a lot depends on how the policy will be implemented. On the operation front also it will be difficult as the increased operational hours means increased costs and more staff. Manpower would be a big challenge. Sustaining the same quality in day and night is also a challenge. Though we will be getting the license to open restaurants for 24 hours but it will also take time for Delhi to adapt to late hours.
I hope and feel this policy will be successful only if the number of people who visit the restaurants at night should be at least 40-45 per cent of the number who visit during the regular working hours.
Dinesh Arora, Owner Unplugged Courtyard
This is a good move by Government. If F&B sector is operational 24×7 the benefit will be to the people working in 24×7 environment like BPO, offshore, engineers and many more such profiles. We will have to make some changes like increase staff, more power bills and fair amount of surveillance but all this would be worthwhile if customers are keen on using our services 24 hours.
Varun Puri, Owner Imly
This decision can only be implemented if proper policies and guidelines are framed around to carry this. Around 70 per cent of Delhi works from 8 am to 6 pm. It will be very good for 30 per cent people who work in International agencies according to US / UK time patterns as now they can also enjoy the booming food and nightlife scene of Delhi. If we have to open our restaurant for 10 more hours, this means new menus, more staff, more working hours to have people visiting us. Probably we will create and curate special promotions for customers late night to give them a reason to visit us.
Also, this will be successful only if Delhi lays down more security for women, more cops on duties and more cabs to ensure the movement. Flexibility to open restaurants 24×7 will add thousands of jobs and make food industry more vibrant.
Bhanu Nehra, Owner Mind Curries Hospitality
24×7 operations of restaurants is a master stroke for the industry as it will create more job opportunities, generate more revenue and attract more tourist. In all, it has all the positives attached to it. Waiting eagerly for it to implemented.
Akshay Anand, Owner HotMess
I am very happy to see this development. It will be an awesome move to attract tourism since Government will also be giving multi-entry visa to tourists now. The move will benefit business in long-term and will also improve employment opportunities We will wait for more details on coming happy times. With this move, I am sure we will be able to take India at par to Nightlife of foreign countries. With a little leniency, we will be able to bring much more entertainment to the city. This Is what I call Freedom of Movement now!!!
Manish Sharma, Owner Molecule Air Bar
I am very excited about this news, however, I am waiting for the right time to celebrate. The implementation of this will take time. This will require changes in the licensing process – from municipality and police both. However this will be very good move from business point of view, as we will be able to cater to a wider clientele now.
Inderjeet Banga, Owner The Pirates Of Grill and Pranksters
This is surely a progressive decision. This is a good change and a very good move which will take India’s food & nightlife and retail sector to international level. This will for sure lead to more job creations, better utilization of resources and quick return on capital expenditure. However, we will have to work on new ideas so that people visit us during the late hours as well.
Sharad Madan, Owner Informal and Imperfecto
It definitely is the news for celebration that at least we people have an option of opening restaurants 24×7. Every coin has two faces, I really feel positive here. India- this way surely will attract more tourists. Also normally people leave the restaurants and drink while driving, when they have the opportunity of drinking till late hours in restaurants only, this will reduce accident risk. The major point to be noted is that police and restaurant authorities will have to work as a team to ensure safety of the guests.
Anuj Sehrawat, Owner The Groghead
It will be good move. One can see a lot of benefits from this. More tourist attraction, more employment, more sales and better and lively food and nightlife scenes. However, there will be certain challenges also like arranging manpower. It is a practical decision considering the way India is developing. Many popular places abroad have been doing this. We hope to bring the same vibrancy here so that people can say NIGHTLIFE ENJOY KARNI HAI TOH LETS GO TO INDIA (Let’s go to India if you want to enjoy nightlife)!
Rahul Singh, Owner The Beer Cafe
The Central Government’s decision is a welcome one and I applaud their vision. However, a lot needs to be done to ensure this turns into a reality for establishments like ours. A restaurant serving liquor needs multiple licenses to operate. To make it successful, several departments (local corporations, police and excise) will have to change their rules to permit 24×7 functioning of establishments and that may be a challenge.”
Nainjyot Dham, Owner Locale Cafe and Bar
Over all it’s a good move, but according to current rule liquor can be served only till 1 am. If this rule can be altered and liquor can be served till late night then yes, certainly it’s a good take. Industry will welcome this rule only if excise extends the liquor license accordingly.