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Mumbai restaurants hope to cash in on Indian Premier League crowd

12:54 AM Oct 01, 2020 | Pratip Acharya

Restaurant owners in Mumbai are hopeful that the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) will be a crowd-puller for them as well. Earlier this week, the Maharashtra government gave a go ahead for dine-in services in a phased manner at restaurants after seven months.

Stakeholders informed that during the IPL, a large number of patrons visit restaurants and food joints for a better viewing experience. They are optimistic that the current IPL season will help them resume their business.

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"We have been asked to operate at 50 per cent capacity. People can come and watch the match at restaurants. The management will have to adhere to social distancing policies," said Adarsh Shetty, president Indian Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR).

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Shetty confirmed that the government has allowed only restaurants to resume the dining services. Bars will have to wait for some more.

"Only restaurants will be allowed to operate once the SOPs are approved. The unlocking is being conducted in a phased manner. Maybe, bars will also be allowed to operate after a month,” he added.

Stakeholders of restaurants and lounges said that during the IPL, footfalls increase by 20 per cent each year.

"Patrons visit restaurants to experience a live match on a giant screen. We will set up a screen this year too,” said Gulab Maan Singh, a restaurant owner.

"We will see the footfall for the first couple of weeks and then announce offers and happy hours during IPL matches. Keeping in mind government norms and social distancing policies," said Sanjay Patel, a manager at city-based food joint.

Business experts opine the move will boost the hospitality sector. "The malls were recording low footfall, after restaurants start to operate, more people will visit malls. It will give a push to the economy" said Narayan Panje, a business expert. A month before Diwali and Navratri, around five lakh people visit malls. This year the footfall is not even half,” said a mall manager.

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