Hotels see dip in business amid COVID-19 scare

Hotels see dip in business amid COVID-19 scare

Have agreed to turn off ACs, keep windows, doors open

Representative image. (DH photo)

The Bruhat Bangalore Hotels Association (BBHA), which has 1,500 members — 365 cafes and bakeries, 114 fine dining places and 1,021 darshinis — have agreed to turn off the air conditioners in their eateries to help the government in its fight against COVID-19. They met health commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey in this regard on Wednesday. 

Henceforth, windows and doors will be mandatorily kept open to avoid suffocation, and fans, if installed, will be in use in fine dining areas, too.

P C Rao, president, BBHA, said: “Hotels already have only 10% occupancy rate and the business of restaurants has come down by 40%.”

Turning off the air conditioning, centralised and otherwise, in the peak summer, in March, is likely to impact their business as patrons will be further inconvenienced.

But they have no option because the virus thrives in cold temperature and the state doesn’t want to take chances. Both the health authorities and hotel managements are helpless amid the COVID-19 scare.

BBMP commissioner B H Anil Kumar clarified: “Apart from maintaining increased levels of hygiene, there is no advisory from the Palike to shut shop.” This is unlike Delhi, where eateries are closed till March 31.

At Vidyarthi Bhavan...

Arun Adiga, partner, Vidyarthi Bhavan, who attended the meeting, said: “We have never had air conditioners. We have also been asked to maintain a gap of one metre between tables.

“We have a seating capacity of 90. On a weekday, we see sales worth Rs. 1.3 lakh to Rs 1.4 lakh. Over the weekend, when we have more family crowd, our sales touch Rs 2 lakh. But ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen a 25%-30% dip in the sales.”

Adiga said he had informed BBHA of their willingness to shut shop in public interest, but unlike fine dining places where customers come for a luxurious experience, patrons at Vidyarthi Bhavan come out of need.

Kamat Group says...

Another famous chain of hotels, Kamat Group, has also seen a dip of 60%, owner Veerendra Kamath told DH.

“We have six branches and have Rs 60,000 sales per day per branch. This is down to Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000. We have agreed to turn off the air conditioners and our tables are already placed one metre apart,” he said.

Health commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey could not be reached for comments.

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