GUWAHATI: In the past six months, life as we knew it has been thrown into disarray as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. There is no sugar‐coating the severity of force the hospitality industry has been hit with on a global scale. Bars and restaurants were among the first firms to experience a drop in business due to Covid‐19, and it seems inevitable they will be hit hard the longest as well.
Speaking to the owner of a local pub owner in Guwahati, about the problems they had to face, he said “We have been running this club from past 3 years. The problem now is customer footfall which has gone down a lot. And after the lockdown is lifted the cases have gone up. So people are taking precautions for it which is good but it is bad for our business.”
“Here we are maintaining all the protocols. We have allowed only 50% sitting capacity and if the people don’t have mask we are not allowing them to sit here. We are checking temperature and sanitization are being done to each and every visitor” he further added.
The economy is being impacted daily by the pandemic, as restaurants are being ordered to close dining areas and move to takeout and delivery only, the industry is taking a major financial hit. These closures, while hurting restaurants, are also hurting businesses that work with and for the restaurants from cleaning companies and restaurant financiers to home rental companies.
The manager of local pub G-ADDA revealed how they are coping for the loss. He said, “As lockdown was imposed from March, since then we have been paying rent and also paying to our staffs. After unlock, we are now coping for our loss. We don’t make profit as these are the places for social gathering and people don’t opt for such places.”
“We are not able to organise DJ events, which were our main source of income. We are in total loss now”, he explained further.
An employee of the Socialite pub said, “We have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic as our business is suffering loss. Government should provide some relief for the hospitality industry.”
“We as an employees are in dire need for some upliftment. So I urge the government to pay heed for the hospitality industry”, he added.
In an attempt to keep guests and staff safe as well as stabilize their business, the industry responded with operational changes, event cancellations and even store closures in some hard-hit areas. But as the situation has grown more dire, state and local governments have begun ordering widespread restaurant shutdowns.
Speaking to TIME8, a visitor at the pub said, “Not only Guwahati, but the entire world is going through these rough times. We are in a bizarre situation and we must think about our safety. But along with safety, our day-to-day work should go hand-in-hand. People can’t stay inside their houses and not think about earning source.”
Each of the sectors is depending upon other to meet their needs in this rough situation. “After a hard day, we came here to relax and have soon food. It is us that hospitality sector depends. And we have seen they are maintain all the COVID protocols here in Socialite”, the visitor added.
As you have seen hospitality is among the sectors that have seen brutal financial and job losses through the Covid-19 fight-back. Reopening pubs, ultimately, is just the first step in the sector’s recovery.