When the lockdown was imposed, the food industry felt a sudden and debilitating blow. At that time, restaurants were left brainstorming over what to do with the kitchen, the waiting staff and the abundant food reserves. As authorities finally put the green tick next to the dine-in facilities, it’s only fair to catch up on what it is like to get back in business.
Santhosh Sreedhar, manager, Swagath restaurant, is happy to be juggling between the two outlets at Elante and Sector 26. “We have seen around 10 to 12 customers, who came in with their families or friends. It’s a good start, considering the fear all around. Since we started delivery services earlier, half of the staff was already working. As soon as we came to know the re-opening date, June 8, rest of the employees were called from June 1 to train them for the changed scenario. After every guest leaves, we sanitise the table from scratch. As for the restaurant, it is disinfected twice daily – once before opening and once at closing. Other safety measures are also in place,” he says.
Precautions in place
As for the menu cards, at Mainland China—26, these would be available on Whatsapp. Subhrajit Chattopadhyay, the manager, says, “To deal with the menu-touching issue, we have decided to use Whatsapp. We are taking no chances.”
At JW Marriott, Chandigarh, they’ve adopted a string of changes as part of the ‘new normal’. “The restaurants have re-worked their seating plan to adhere to the MHA’s guidelines. To ensure minimal touch or contact, the hotel has introduced a single-use disposable QR code-enabled menu, which will be placed for guests after they are seated,” says the GM, Ramandeep Marwah.
Angad Singh, who owns two restaurants, The Backroom and Benaras, in the city, adds, “On day one of the
re-opening, we served six to seven groups of people. Things will only get better.”
As for the visitors…
Visiting The Café@JW, on the day of its reopening, Anurag Agarwal and Ritu Kaur, can’t deny the pleasure of being back. “We were particularly happy with the disposable menu with digital capabilities, which ensures that there is no contact of multiple people with the same menu.”
At Swagath, Neha Gupta, a Panchkula resident, is enjoying some snacks with her brother and aunt, “I am happy to see that restaurants are prepared well in advance.”
Ribul Bamba, student, DAV college, got back from her hometown, Panipat, a few days ago. “Everything will fall into place slowly. I have already stepped out, visited a restaurant and will stay here until the exams are over.”