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Hotels and Restaurants to hold silent protest against Govt's Break the Chain Guidelines on 8th March 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021, 11:09 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

The latest restrictions imposed by the Maharashtra Government has put the final nail in the coffin for the Hospitality industry in the State. As per the Break The Chain order, restaurants are to be totally shut except for take-away, parcels and food delivery between 7 am and 8 pm on weekdays and on weekends, only food deliveries are allowed. Additionally, the State has mandated all food delivery personnel to be either vaccinated or undergo RT-PCR tests to test negative for COVID-19 at intervals of every 15 days. 

Hospitality Associations across the State including the FHRAI, HRAWI, NRAI, AHAR and other local Associations have formed United Hospitality Forum of Maharashtra (UHF) and have initiated campaign #MissionRoziRoti to highlight their desperate bid for survival. The UHF has organized a silent protest outside of all hotels and restaurants in the state on 8 April 2021 at 12:30 PM. The Associations have stated that hotels and restaurants are in deep financial trouble and without the Government’s consideration; the industry will be staring at a catastrophe.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry has been extremely disruptive. Among all the core sectors of the economy, hospitality was the first one to fall and is going to be the last to recover, hence becoming the biggest causality of the pandemic in the country. The industry had lost all its business after the lockdown came into effect and the zero-business scenario remained for 7 to 10 months during last year but the obligations of the establishments including rental and salary expenses, servicing of debts and statutory payments continued all through this period. This led to mounting debts and threats of insolvency for a majority in the sector along with millions of jobs losses. As of today, 30 per cent of the hotels and restaurants in the country have shut down permanently due to financial losses. Over 20 per cent of hotels and restaurants haven’t opened fully after the lockdown. The remaining 50 per cent continue to run in losses and revenues are below 50 per cent of the pre-COVID levels. Our businesses are under immense financial stress and the latest ‘Break The Chain’ order is equivalent to another complete lockdown. We assure the Government that the industry is committed to following all the health and safety protocols and has our unwavering support towards the various efforts to combat the pandemic. We humbly request the Government to look into this genuine request of the hospitality industry and extend support in our fight for survival,” says Pradeep Shetty, Jt. Hon Secretary, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI).

“Barely six months ago were restaurants allowed to reopen. For close to eight months, on Government orders, restaurants remained closed but did not receive any support or relief against losses accrued by these businesses. There are around 10,500 hotels and 210,000 restaurants in Maharashtra. The smallest of restaurants employ eight individuals whereas an average restaurant and hotel employs 20 to 30 heads which include waiters, cleaners and cooks, accountants, managers, delivery boys, security and gardeners. Of the approximately 30 lakh employees engaged in the industry directly in the State, approximately 40 per cent are just from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. A restaurant is a place where patrons prefer to dine not just for the food but for the ambience it offers. Food delivery or parcel service is only a supplementary service to dine-in and it contributes only 5 per cent to a restaurant’s earnings. We are at a complete dead-end and to express our desperate bid for survival have organized a silent protest on 8 April 2021 at 12:30 pm, outside hotels and restaurants across the State,” says Sherry Bhatia, President, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).

 
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