KOCHI: Out of the 418 Beer and Wine (B&W) parlours in the state, at least 60 per cent outlets have been incurring as much as 90 per cent slump in sales.
On an average, about 250 B&W parlours have seen sales drop drastically from around `2 lakh a day to less than `20,000. With another 312 bars closed and most of them opting for B&W licence, the daily sales is likely to come down.
The unemployment too have nosedived to 70 per cent and the existing employees are struggling to find an alternative job.
Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association president D Rajkumar said that a beer and wine parlour could be profitable only if `50,000 is received daily. In the present circumstances, the parlours in city and towns are at a loss whereas those in areas where there are no Bevco outlests in the nearby areas, are profitable.
“Around 60 per cent of the beer and wine parlours functioning in the state are in loss even after the number of employees have been reduced from 50 to 12. At present only an average of 150 to 200 bottles of beer are sold in majority of the parlours a day,” Rajkumar said.
Krishnadas Polakulath, who owns 10 beer and wine parlours in the State, said that there is a tendency of people mixing wine with beer to have a small ‘kick’. On an average 12 bottles of wine are sold a day from a beer parlour.
‘Only low quality wines which cost `30 a peg are on demand and it is mixed with beer. Genuine beer and wine drinkers, who drink for pleasure, are still the majority of the customers in these parlours, which is relatively low when compared to those who consume liquor,” Krishnadas Polakulath said. The Railview Hotel and Bar in Kollam district which is now a beer and wine parlour, was always a crowded place and now rarely customers come to have beer.
According to an employee, there were six employees in the bar counter at a time which has reduced to two, and four in billing section which is now two, and ten in restaurant came down to three.
On an average the salary of the staff serving liquor at bar comes to around `3.5 to 4.5 lakh a month. His biggest earning at bars was the tips given by the customers which comes between `500 and 750 a day which has come down following the conversion to parlours.
Now even though the bar owners tried to retain the employees, the low turnout to consume beer forces them to find out other jobs.