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#CoronaCrisis: Not just in Khan Market, many restaurants across NCR might shut shop



After at least six restaurants were shut down in Khan Market, it seems like more eateries across NCR might lose the battle of survival in the post-lockdown phase. Restaurant owners cite high rentals and uncertainty of business post lockdown as reasons of shutdown and predict that in the months to come, over 40% businesses will succumb to the pressure of losses and face closure.

“While some landlords have been very understanding and have agreed to waive off rentals and negotiate rent, it’s not the case with others. How will restaurants pay high rent when they have no means to earn profits?” asks restaurateur Navneet Kalra, who owns restaurants in Khan Market. He adds, “Even though some restaurants have opened for deliveries and takeaways, the number of orders they can take will be 20% of the number in the pre-corona era. Others can’t even open for deliveries as 80% of their staff has gone back to their homes/hometowns and they have no means to come back. In such a grim situation, it is impossible to keep running businesses.”

After Khan Market, restaurants in Connaught Place feel the heat

While many restaurateurs across Delhi remain tight-lipped about their plans to reopen after lockdown, they do not deny that they are facing a roadblock while negotiating the terms of rent with landlords. They further say that if landlords do not cooperate, they will have no option, but to shut down. Restaurateur Umang Tewari says that “I am planning to shutdown Garam Dharam in CP, but I am still trying to have a word with landlords. It is a ground floor property and rents are very high and we do not know in coming months if we can continue to run it.”

He adds that there might be many other restaurants in CP that may face the same fate as Garam Dharam. Restaurateur Sharad Madan agrees with Tewari and says, “Currently the situation is very unpredictable and most of us won’t be in any position to say anything till the time bars also get a nod from the government to operate. Till then we will continue to negotiate with landlords.”

Pebble Street is a restaurant in CP that has already shut down. “It was a franchisee and honestly operational cost was too high to keep running that restaurant,” says Abhishek Ahuja, director, Pebble Street.

Several outlets in Sector 29, Gurgaon, to face closure?

Most eateries at Sector 29 in Gurgaon are finding it hard to continue paying rentals that range from Rs 5- Rs 10 lakh per month, with no hopes of business recovering in near future, say sources. A source informs that “only bigger restaurant chains might survive in Sector 29 and others will have to shut down as they have been negotiating with landlords and trying to convince them to give them some waiver, but there has been no help so far. Also, deliveries and takeaways make limited business sense.”
Inderjeet Banga, who owns Prankster in Sector 29 in Gurgaon and is also the National Restaurant Association of India’s (

NRAI) Gurgaon chapter head, says, “It is not COVID-19, but it is lack of clarity between different stakeholders that will result in shutting down of so many restaurants. Losses that we are bearing are humongous and for the next six-nine months, we have no certainty on how we will run businesses with high operation costs. What is needed right now is cooperation among all stakeholders, otherwise like every other location, this market too will face the brunt.”

Restaurateurs weighing pros and cons of running businesses at different locations

The owners of restaurant Side Wok decided to shut business in Khan Market in May, while they will continue to run other two restaurants in Gurgaon and Malcha Marg in Delhi. “We started vacating the premises as soon as the lockdown was over. In our case, the landlord was accommodating, but even after renegotiating terms of rent, it was not making financial sense for us to run our restaurant in Khan Market. We do not know how much time market will take to recover, we cannot continue to run with high losses till then,” says Rajneesh Malik, director, Side Wok.
Confirming the news of Smoke House Deli’s shut down in Khan Market, Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, says, “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent fallout, we have made the difficult decision to close Smoke House Deli’s outpost in Khan Market. While we have been in constant negotiations with our landlords there and have also spent time assessing the outpost’s overall financial viability, ultimately a difficult but necessary decision was made keeping in mind Khan Market’s expensive real estate and other issues.” Restaurateur Saurabh Khanijo, owner, Kylin, says that while they are deciding to downsize, they would first plan to shut eateries at locations that were already running losses. “If I have to, I might decide to shut down one outlet at Sohna Road, one at a mall in Dwarka, while we will continue running others. Running an establishment at malls is slightly easier as they cooperate, but independent landlords are hard to convince in situation like what we are facing presently,” he says.

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