Mumbai, Nov 30: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has welcomed the Maharashtra Government’s decision to lift restrictions on timings for restaurants in the State. The Association has stated that the move brings a major relief to restaurants as well as for patrons since the present timings made dining out a hasty affair. The Hospitality industry expects a boost to revenues as well with this move. However, the industry is also puzzled with the Government’s decision to restrict the capacity of open to air venues for social gatherings to 25 per cent when closed halls are allowed to accommodate up to 50 per cent. It is a well-established fact that COVID19 transmission is less susceptible in open spaces. On this premise, the HRAWI plans to submit a representation to the Government requesting it to reconsider the restriction on open to air venues and allow such venues to operate at full capacity.

“The decision to lift restriction on timings has brought a big relief to the restaurant industry. We had been requesting the Government to allow restaurants to operate until 1:30 am. This move will help the industry expedite the process of getting back on its feet. Also, patrons especially, in the cities will appreciate the extension in timings since they will now be able to enjoy dining without having to hurry through their meals,” says Mr Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI.

While this part has brought cheer to the industry, the other part mentioned in the order, which restricts the capacity on open to air venues to 25 per cent, has puzzled it.

“The restriction of 25 per cent capacity for social gatherings at open air venues has come as a surprise to the industry. It has been identified that the chances of the virus transmitting are much lesser in open spaces as compared to its chances of spreading in closed spaces. The hospitality industry was one of the first industries to adapt to Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) and has followed every guideline and all the COVID protocols to a T. We will submit a representation soon requesting the Government to revise the 25 per cent restriction at open

venues to operate at 100 per cent capacity,” concludes Mr Pradeep Shetty, Sr Vice President, HRAWI.

About Hotel & Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI)

The Hotel and Restaurant Association (Western India) is a 71 years old Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Western India. Its members include various restaurants and smaller Hotels up to 5-Star Deluxe categories. The bulk of its members like any growth economy are made up of restaurants and budget hotels. With membership base spread across Western India, HRAWI covers Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and the Union Territories of Daman, Diu & Silvassa, and is considered to be the voice of the Hotel and Restaurant Industry. The association is part of the national body of Federation of the Hotels & Restaurants Associations of India (FHRAI), located in New Delhi, which was originally founded in Mumbai in 1950 by the late Mr J.R.D. Tata.