Dineout #ReliefForRestaurants petition garners 20,000 signatures

Several restauranters also showed support to save local restaurants and livelihoods of F&B workers during the COVID-19 lockdown

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Apr 1, 2020 8:00 PM

The F&B industry and local restaurant businesses have been severely impacted amidst the nationwide shutdown to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. With an annual turnover of Rs 4 Lakh crore, the industry could potentially hit total bankruptcy as it fights a long and hard battle against basic survival. India's food services industry currently employs around 7.3 million people and contributes more than 18,000Cr in taxes. It is among the largest industries in the service sector and is 20x of the Indian film industry, 4.7x of hotels and 1.5x of the pharmaceutical sector. If lockdowns continue, 20% to 25% of the employee-base could lose their jobs.

The subsequent financial crisis triggered by the lockdown has made it extremely tough for restaurants to pay for expenses, rent, salaries & more. To help them navigate through this turmoil, India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform, Dineout has initiated an online petition to support NRAI on change.org (https://www.change.org/ReliefForRestaurants), requesting the Finance Ministry and Government of India to help restaurants with employee unemployment pay cover, moratorium on upcoming statutory dues, delay in utility bill payments, holiday/temporary stoppage on EMI payments & interest, freezing rental dues & restoration of Input Tax Credit on GST for all restaurants.

The petition has received widespread acknowledgement and has been signed by more than 17000 people and endorsed by some of the country’s biggest restaurateurs & F&B entrepreneurs like Olive Bar and Kitchen Founder, AD Singh, Biryani Blues Founder Raymond Andrews, Massive Restaurants founder, Zorawar Kalra, Gurupreet Singh Bali, Owner, Gillys, Chef Megha Kohli, Times Chef of the Year 2020, Vicky Ratnani, Gourmand, Connoisseur, Celebrity Chef, Sleepy Owl Coffee Co-Founder Arman Sood and FIO Restaurant Co-Founders Vineet Wadhwa & Vanshika Wadhwa among others.

Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO - Dineout said, “The Indian food service industry is one our country’s largest industries in the service sector after retail and insurance that feeds not only 7 million-plus households, it also supports multiple allied industries such as real estate, food processing, consulting and many more. Dining in contributes more than 92% to the overall margins for these small businesses, and the ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns and zero footfalls have led to huge monetary gaps that they are reeling under. We are heartened by the widespread support to our effort to draw attention to the struggles of this sector.”

AD Singh, Founder - Olive Bar and Kitchen observed, “The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is uncharted territory for most restaurants across India, and no one knows how long this is likely to continue. While some of us are lucky to be working from home and support our families, unfortunately, our industry does not have that option. Given most local restaurants work on wafer-thin margins owing to ever surging fixed costs these are also among the most vulnerable to such sustained shutdowns. We are grateful to see brands like Dineout step up and work proactively to help the local businesses during times of such crisis.”

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