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Is Bengaluru ready for 24*7?



From January 27, malls, movie halls, shops and restaurants in Mumbai can stay open all night. The idea is resonating in Bengaluru: many in the food and beverages business in this city are eager to see if they can similarly extend their operations.

The proposal for 24/7 business in Mumbai was cleared by the Maharashtra cabinet on Wednesday. Like Singapore, Mumbai can now do business with no time restrictions, and the government believes this will increase revenue, employment and tourism.

In the first phase, businesses in non-residential areas will be allowed to remain open. Establishments can choose to keep open if they see a financial benefit.

On Thursday, a day after the Cabinet took the decision, some establishments in Mumbai told Metrolife they were gearing up for all-nighters.

Pravesh Pandey, director of Byg Brewski Brewing Company and core team member of National Restaurant Association India’s Bangalore chapter, believes round-the-clock business can help Bengaluru bring down its crime rate.

“When Bengaluru had a longer nightlife, the crime rate was low. We’ve been hearing a lot of cases being reported now as the city goes to sleep early,” he says.

Given the nature of work in Bengaluru, with a predominance of IT and BPO industries, many get out of office only after midnight. Finding a place that serves food at that hour is not easy.

“If eateries are open for longer hours, people can worry less about what to do for food. The smaller stalls open late at night now aren’t safe for women as they are located in dark alleys,” he says.

An all-night city means less traffic during peak hours, Pandey reckons. If people have the luxury of getting out whenever they want, there would be fewer vehicles on the road, he says.

Respect neighbours

Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, says his team is gearing up to keep restaurants open in Mumbai 24/7 from Monday.

Impresario owns the ‘Social’ chain of restaurants in Bengaluru. Riyaaz welcomes the idea of all-night business.

“The city has a crowd for both a fun night out and a quiet night in. If the idea is proposed in Bengaluru, the government should first identify areas where it’s possible so that residents don’t get disturbed,” he says.

Ideal ecosystem

For a 24/7 city to be successful, police and public transport should be functional as well. Riyaaz’s team in Mumbai is tying up with cab services to ensure customers reach home safe.

“We are also making sure the security is good. We will be training staff, rotating shifts and offering new jobs,” he says.

For morning people

Raghav Verma, founder partner of tea chain ‘Chaayos’, keeps his store open 24/7 in Gurugram.  “On weekdays, we see more people come in after working late. Morning joggers also stop by after a run. Weekends mostly see a post-party crowd. This has been successfully running for the past two years.
We’re excited to check out the response in Mumbai as well,” Raghav says.

Mall support critical

Multiplexes in Mumbai says 24/7 business is not possible if the malls do not cooperate. “Multiplexes have the complete freedom to choose when they want to run their shows and the ticket pricing can also vary depending on the demand. However, if nothing else in the mall is open late at night, moviegoers don’t have much to look forward to,” Raghav told Metrolife.

Some international retail and F&B brands have it in their policy that they cannot be open after 10 pm. “With the new proposal, we’ll have to wait and find out if the management will be willing to change,” he says.

“Working professionals can relax and go out to places at their own leisure and feel safe. People often don’t get to go to the theatres as they are either stuck at work or in traffic. If there are shows running late at night, they can watch the movie at their time and not worry about phone calls in between the movie,” a multiplex insider explains.

Make city livelier

Allowing Bengaluru establishments to remain open all night will encourage tourism and reduce the crime rate, many in the restaurant business say.

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