Pune, September 5, 2020: With the dine-in services restrained, eateries in Pune are suffering from huge losses owing to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Restaurant owners are claiming that it has become impossible for them to run their businesses with just take-away being allowed. Many proprietors alleged that the business is only 1-2 percent in comparison to the pre-lockdown period. However, the expenditures have not been reduced to any extent. The owners are struggling to pay monthly rent, employees’ wages, maintenance of restaurant equipment, and electricity bills due to five months of lockdown.
Speaking to Punekanews.in, Imtiaz Shaikh, owner of famous Chinese restaurant Sai Kok Pa, Fergusson college road, said, “The situation is horrible. We don’t know how to pay our rents and taxes. The rent is more than a lakh rupees but the income doesn’t even suffice the rent. We are planning to close down if dine-in isn’t allowed.”
Nikhil Lele, owner of ‘Yeta Jata’ restaurant on Lakshmi Road, said, “It is not affordable. Also, disposable plates, containers, spoons, and other materials require extra capital. There will be some relief if the dine-in starts. We are all ready to follow the guidelines. Hence, We now request the government to give permission.”
Ganesh Shetty, president, Pune Hoteliers Association, said, “The rent for a restaurant is in the lakhs of rupees. Nearly two lakh workers have become unemployed. The annual fee for a permit room permit is Rs eight lakh. About 20 percent of the owners who have permit room licences have surrendered the licences. The time has come for 20 percent of restaurant owners to shut their businesses now.”
Meanwhile, Vedanshu Patil, an entrepreneur from Nashik, has submitted a letter to MP Supriya Sule in this regard and she responded to this in a tweet recently, where she requested CM Uddhav Thackeray to re-consider and allow dine-in services at the restaurants.