As the lockdown eases, and eating places in Thiruvananthapuram elevate shutters to welcome prospects once more, it seems like diners shall be greeted by waiters donning masks and gloves, thermal checks, sanitisers and, after all, fewer tables.
Villa Maya, which reopens its doorways to prospects on Wednesday, encourages friends to make reservation in order to maintain a sanitised desk prepared for them.
Unnikrishnan NP, who reopened The Yellow Chilli on Tuesday, says: “Instead of cloth napkins, there will be serviettes. Disposable menus have replaced table mats. There will be no cutlery stands or salt-and-pepper shakers on the table. And while the waiters will take the order and deliver the food at the table, guests will have to serve it themselves.”
The restaurant has halved its seating capability. While households can sit collectively, others shall be seated “keeping the one-metre distance in mind. For instance, a four-seater table will now seat just three. Also, if a member of a group is running a temperature, entry for the whole group will be disallowed,” he says.
Diners at Villa Maya should fill in a questionnaire. “It contains questions such as whether they were in contact with any COVID-19 patient, if they are returning from any hotspot zones and so on… They can enter the restaurant only if they fulfil all the prerequisite ticks,” says Sashi Jacob, vice chairman (Food and Beverages), Villa Maya and Muthoot Skychef.
Guests on the restaurant can scan a QR code on their cell phone to take a look at the “for-now trimmed menu”, whereas those that aren’t that tech-savvy can ask for disposable menus. One pays the invoice on-line.
Diners such because the Zam Zam chain of eating places and Poomaram — Ram’s Kitchen close to Akkulam off the Kazhakuttam freeway think about scaling up service by and by because the hope is that buyer footfall will step by step improve. With takeaway providers already on in line with authorities protocol, such joints plan to proceed to give attention to takeaways, whereas additionally establishing dine-in preparations with a pared-down menu until issues begin trying up.
“We are a bit short-staffed as of now since some of our outstation staffers are yet to return. The initial plan is to partially open our outlet at YMR Junction first before re-jigging the one at Palayam. However, the thrust for the time being will be on the usually popular dishes at our outlets such as shawarma, shawai, biriyani, mandi, tawa and so on,” says Mohammad Ashraf, supervisor of Zam Zam.
Sukil Ram, proprietor of Poomaram that focuses on “naadan” dishes, is tweaking the menu by including fried rice and different widespread sides comparable to Manchurian rooster and so forth. “We don’t expect a big footfall initially and so another idea being mooted is opening several takeaway counters across the city. This way, we can avoid crowding at the central kitchen, retain and re-deploy the serving staff and also try and maintain the brand name,” he factors out.
According to B Vijayakumar, secretary, Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA), Thiruvananthapuram, most eating places may discover it tough to adjust to the rules set by the federal government for eateries to open. “Many of the guest labourers who have returned to their respective home towns were working at restaurants. As a result, there is a shortage of manpower at most of the eateries,” he provides.
Food blogger Anjana Gopakumar feels that the choice to open eating places is just a little hasty and untimely. She says whereas it it true that the lockdown was a monetary blow to eating places, the well-laid-out tips for functioning through the lockdown exit section may also turn into a Herculean activity for a lot of in the enterprise given the paucity of employees, air-conditioned premises, lack of area and so forth.
“I feel it might be a good time to be extremely careful and not let down our guard. I spoke to a restaurant owner and he says he will not be opening soon as he would not be able to ensure complete safety. He says he would not be able to live with it if someone were to fall ill after visiting his place,” she says.
Dr Padmavathy R, advisor pulmonologist, SK hospital, Edapazhinji, and Spring Garden Medical Centre, Pattom asserts that it could be greatest to remain at residence and dine there itself. She factors out that it’s onerous to keep up social distancing in most eating places and one can’t put on masks whereas consuming. “The disease can spread during a meet-up over food due to multiple reasons. Talking loudly or laughing or coughing during such gatherings is common. Moreover, it’s hard for a cook/waiter to maintain social distancing inside kitchens or eating areas,” she explains.
Padmavathy feels that the ready areas, restrooms and wash areas have to be redesigned holding in thoughts social distancing norms. “When people of multiple households gather, say for dinner, and if just one of them is positive for COVID-19, he/she puts at risk the entire staff and guests. Food delivery boys can also get infected and therefore also the distant households to which they serve the takeaway, resulting in a super spreader event.”
And whereas the financial stoop, lack of jobs, pay cuts and worry of the virus could dissuade prospects from consuming out, most restaurateurs really feel that folks will step by step begin trickling again to eating places since they’ve been in the lockdown for thus lengthy. “Good food and good conversation will always hold central space in our society. Also, by complying with the regulations set by the government, we are showing our customers that we care for their safety. It will ease their minds,” says Sashi.