BENGALURU: Opening after a gap of 75 days, restaurants and cafes were all geared up on Monday to cater to customers. But in a new manner. With measures like temperature scans, sanitiser use (even top-to-toe sprays, in some cases), recording of travel history, and tables placed at six-feet distance, eateries are ensuring adherence to all guidelines.
“We have resumed operations only with food services minus the alcohol, while the smoking area has been converted into a takeaway section,” says Arun George, owner, Toit, Indiranagar, and The Permit Room, Ashok Nagar. He adds that use of the smoking room and washroom will be limited to only two people at a time, while e-menus will be made available for scanning QR codes to minimise contact.
E-menus have also been introduced at Paris Panini, Indiranagar. Says owner Nicolas Grossemy, “We want to make people feel good about dining out because fear is still palpable. I don’t expect to see many visitors in the coming days since the habit of ordering online has increased due to people working from home.” However, customers have started trickling in. “I got to meet my friends and grab some pizza after two months which feels like a lifetime. But I would stick to places near my house,” said a diner.
Cafes such as Third Wave Coffee Roasters and Chaayos have also stepped up with technological assistance. Nitin Saluja, founder of Chaayos, says in order to minimise contact, they have launched an app for placing orders, while ordering at the counter still remains an option.
Some restaurants such as Soda Bottle Opener Wala and Bohemians have, however, chosen to remain shut and opt for a wait-and-watch approach. Burma, for instance, was earlier shut even for online orders, and is now looking to start the option. “We are concerned about the increase in COVID cases and don’t plan to reopen immediately,” a staffer told CE. Some others are restructuring their establishments. Nikhil Hegde who owns Smallys Resto Cafe, has converted three of his four outlets into cloud kitchens while retaining his space in Ulsoor as a dine-in facility. (with inputs from Bala Chauhan)