In view of the serious health risk to lakhs of employees and millions of patrons in the Food Service Sector amidst ever-worsening situation around COVID-19 in India, NRAI, as a responsible industry body, has sent out an advisory to all its Members to shut down their Restaurant’s operations from March 18 till March 31, 2020, or till such time when there are no new cases reported for a few days.
Anurag Katriar, president, NRAI, said, “We at NRAI have been closely following what has been happening with the Coronavirus outbreak. We find ourselves today in an unprecedented situation where we are compelled to make some difficult decisions that have massive financial implications on our businesses but we are doing this in the larger benefit for our teams, our guests and our communities. We can’t forget that most of our employees use public transport to commute and they run a huge risk of getting infected and further becoming carriers of the deadly Virus. Hence, in order to avoid any such risk; we advise all our members to shut down their operations and help curtail the spread of the deadly virus. We are also trying our best to ensure the well-being of our employees while they remain confined to their homes. It is well known that the Food Service Industry works on a fairly high proportion of fixed operating costs and therefore, this decision to shut down is extremely hard on us. We intend to work with all stakeholders in the ecosystem; from landlords to various departments of the Government, banks and financial institutions and seek their support in mitigating our losses as far as possible. This is an extraordinary situation and beyond our control and we expect to support such as converting fixed rentals to variable revenue share, allowing input tax credit on GST, moratorium on loan repayment, waiver of interest, reduction on energy costs, deferred payment of license fee and taxes will go a long way in curtailing our astronomical losses.”