Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India president Sudesh Poddar pointed out that as a whole, the bars and restaurants in the city have done good business. “If this trend continues, the hospitality industry will bounce back soon,” he added.
The industry in Kolkata alone has suffered a loss of Rs 4,000-4,500 crore since the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020. It employs more than 80,000 people in the greater Kolkata area alone. Poddar, who is owner of Songhay and Manthan in central Kolkata, said that on Saturday both the restaurants were full during dinner and the Sunday lunch was better than usual. “On Saturday, our capacity (50% of normal) was full from 5pm. Though Friday was not so good due to inclement weather,” he added.
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For Nitin Kothari, owner of iconic restaurants like Peter Cat and Mocambo, both Saturday and Sunday were very good and Friday was moderate. Kothari opened Peter Cat on Saturday, though Mocambo was reopened on June 16 itself. “On Saturday both lunch and dinner were really good. On Sunday, we had waiting in both Peter Cat and Mocambo in afternoon. Friday, initially, was not so good but things picked up during dinner,” he added.
Charles Mantosh, owner of Moulin Rouge, Floriana, Magnolia on Park Street, had a very good business on Saturday. “It was superb for us,” he added. Anjan Chatterjee, the founder and chairman of Speciality Restaurants that has brands like Mainland China, Oh! Calcutta, Haka, Asia Kitchen, Café Mezzuna, told TOI that it has opened some of its restaurants — Mainland China, Café Mezzuna in South City mall — and the weekend business was satisfactory. “We cannot say it was excellent but it was good. We are opening restaurants in other malls soon,” he added.
Debaditya Chaudhury, director of Chowman, pointed out that the table sale was pretty good in the first weekend after some relaxations were announced. “On the first day of reopening, we witnessed a massive footfall in all our restaurants. However, the weekend sale seems to be a little lopsided due to the weather condition, but we still received a good number customers,” he added.
Kabir Azhar, director of Aminia, one of the leading biryani chains in the city, had full house on Sunday in most of its outlets. “There was long waiting on Sunday for lunch at our Chinar Park, Hatibagan, Behala, Golpark outlets. We didn’t expect such a huge footfall,” he added.
Siladitya Chowdhury, director of Oudh 1590 and Chapter 2, has mixed feelings. “It was not that good as we expected, but Sunday lunch was very good and Saturday evening was good at Chapter 2,” he added.
(With inputs from Suman Chakraborti)