Better late than never


Express News Service

After a highly depressing summer season, restaurateurs and bar owners have a lot to cheer about now, despite the lack of relieving rains. In a bid to improve tourism and revamp the liquor industry in the Capital, the Excise Policy 2021-22, which was unveiled by the Delhi government on Monday, a slew of measures have been introduced, which apply to vendors as well as restaurants and bars.

As reported in The Morning Standard, via PTI, “As part of the new reforms, the bars in hotels, restaurants and clubs have been allowed to operate till 3:00 am, except those licensees which have been given license to operate round the clock service of liquor. The new policy states that such establishments can serve liquor in the open spaces such as the terrace and balcony.

Delhiites will also be able to fill their bottles or ‘growlers’ with freshly brewed beer from any microbrewery in the city.” Referring to the latter policy change, Manish Sharma, Founder, Yuvi hospitality, who owns brands like Molecule Air bar, says, “This policy is a very welcome move as it allows microbreweries to supply draught beer to bars and take away services which will surely only benefit the restaurants. In a way, it makes us producers of beer, and we can sell beer to customers for take-away as well. Anybody can enjoy fresh beer sitting in their house.

This is a win-win situation, as we get to entertain dine-in and deliveries both.” Indeed, for an industry especially hard hit by the second wave, any additional revenue stream at this time is welcome. “The hospitality industry has been deemed a ‘significant contributor’ to the state’s overall economy and the restaurant industry has been massively affected by the pandemic.

We are grateful for the relaxations which will help us provide a more wholesome experience to our patrons and help us make our way back, slowly but surely,” enthuses Satyajit Dhingra, Chief Regional Officer – North, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, joining others in the industry in effusive thanks to the state government. And given that it’s the service and kitchen staff, the people on the ground who have suffered more, the extension of work timings is welcome, as it is for other groups in the city.

Amit Bagga, Co-founder, Daryaganj notes, “Extension of timings is like creating a new time slot for new customers, which is great revenue for us. We will be able to cater to late flight customers, night shift employees, and others.” As Zorawar Kalra, Director, Massive Restaurants, concludes, “This will help all stakeholders – the patrons get to enjoy a vibrant nightlife at their leisure, the employees benefit as there is an extra shift thereby ensuring additional employment per restaurant, the industry and exchequer benefit due to additional revenue and tax generated. Best of all, this will position Delhi as the nightlife capital of India as well and that helps all involved.”

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