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With partial relief from weekend curfew, Noida restaurants and bars hope for better business



Ever since they reopened in June after the Covid second wave, restaurants and bars in Noida have been struggling to revive businesses due to the weekend curfew in the city and time restrictions (at present they can remain open till 10pm). After more than a month of reopening with 50% occupancy, restaurants and bars in Noida finally got some relief as they are now allowed to remain open on Saturdays. However, they are still allowed to remain open only till 10pm and will remain closed on Sundays.

Even partial relief from weekend curfew will add 20% revenue to our businesses: Restaurateurs

Even this partial relief from the weekend lockdown is positive news for business, say restaurateurs, who made multiple appeals to authorities to allow them to remain open on weekends. “We wrote to the UP chief minister and also to the governor requesting them to allow us to run restaurants and bars on weekends. Around 50% of our business comes from weekends and if we are not allowed to remain open on weekends that means no business for us. Running restaurants with weekend curfew, time restriction of 10pm and 50% occupancy was a huge challenge for us. The latest order that allows us to run on Saturdays has definitely brought some relief and we are hoping that there will be at least a 20% increase in business now. After this relaxation in rules, we are hoping that we will soon be allowed to run operations on Sundays also,” says Varun Khera, Noida chapter head of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) ) and owner of Desi Vibes and Kaffiiaa in Noida. Vikrant Batra, owner, Café Delhi Heights adds, “There is a massive difference between weekday and weekend sales as most people come out for dining on Saturdays. We suffered major losses due to the pandemic and even when we opened, in Noida there was hardly any business, majorly due to the weekend curfew and time restrictions. Now, at least we are hopeful that we won’t continue to run operations while bearing losses.”

‘Noida diners won’t have to drive to Delhi and Gurgaon for weekend outings’

Weekend curfew in Noida meant that many people from Noida were driving to neighbouring cities like Delhi and Gurgaon for weekend outings. Restaurateurs are hopeful that now at least on Saturdays, Noida people can look for dining options in their own city. “Ever since we got to know that we can now run operations on Saturdays, we have been promoting it on social media. Saturday nights have always meant good business for most eateries in Noida. We are planning to start our live music sessions this Saturday. We also used to get so many queries from guests asking if we are open on Saturdays. For all those people, this is big news that restaurants will now remain open on Saturdays. We have already started getting some reservation queries for this Saturday,” says Sharad Madan, co-founder, Imperfecto in Noida.

‘Time restriction (till 10pm) is still a deterrent for businesses’

Now that restaurants and bars are allowed to remain open on Saturdays, restaurateurs say that their next appeal to the authorities will be to allow them to remain open on Sunday and give them some relaxation in opening hours. “Gurgaon recently allowed all restaurants and bars to remain open till 1am, while in Delhi and Noida restaurants can remain open till 10pm. We would urge the authorities to try and ensure our timings are at par with the neighbouring cities. We appreciate the support from authorities so far and we urge them to also consider giving us extension in timelines, which can prove to be a lifeline to businesses right now,” says Gaurav Dhingra, partner, Alma Bakery & Café. Vicky Saluja, CEO, Baby Dragon Bar & Restaurant, adds, “We keep getting calls from guests asking about timing and 10pm is a deterrent. Most guests prefer coming for dinner between 8.30-9pm and due to time restrictions at present, we need to take the last order around 9pm. As other states are giving some relaxation in timing, we are hopeful that we will also be given some extension in timing too.”

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