National Restaurant Association of India unveils guidelines to make restaurants ‘COVID-proof’

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The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has come up with a comprehensive list of SOPs and guidelines that restaurants need to follow as they resume business after months of lockdown. These guidelines inform restaurants about how they can apply social distancing norms in their establishments, staff training, contactless dining and other health and safety measures.

“The world we are living in today and the world we are moving towards are very different from what we are used to. I think hygiene and health safety are going to be the most important aspects of dining out. If we have to win consumer confidence, it has to be by making sure that they feel safe and not scared when they come to a restaurant. As a responsible industry body, we have unveiled very detailed SOPs for the front of the house and backend, which will be very helpful in making restaurants COVID-proof,” said Anurag Katriar, president, NRAI.

While talking about how restaurants will have to play a role in bringing back customers, restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, said, “As the lockdown has started to ease, we are coming into a new reality. We really needed SOPs as COVID-19 has impacted the industry in a tremendous way. Customers are going to be apprehensive, but it is our job as restaurateurs to build confidence. We have to normalise being in restaurants once again and for that, customers will have to believe that we have their back.”

Riyaaz added that it was essential to have the SOPs in order for restaurants to know how to navigate through the new normal. “Operating in a post-COVID environment means we have to follow social distancing norms. We are going to have low footfall and the costs are going to go up. It is going to be a rough ride, but it is something that we have to learn to embrace. We have to build a lot of customer confidence and that is why it was essential for us to come up with the SOPs, which have been put together over the last two months. At this point of time, we can’t afford any missteps,” he explained.

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