The Karnataka government's announcement of a 10-day night curfew in Bengaluru starting Saturday has triggered concerns in the local restaurant and pub industry.
Bengaluru has been reporting over 4,000 new Covid cases for the last few days.
Zakir Hussain helps in running the 45-year-old family restaurant business. The four outlets employ 40 people. He says that with their peak hours being between 9 pm and midnight, they are looking at a loss of 30-40% revenue because of the night curfew.
"Night curfew, as an educated person, we don't think is a solution from the government. They are overlooking all the other issues...the economy which is slowly reviving will stop...There is no help to any of our restaurant people - but still they want to hit our economy again. This is a very bad decision taken by the government," he told NDTV.
Bengaluru is considered a pub city - but that really works only if late hours are permitted.
Mukesh Tolani, Director, pH4 Food & Beverages Private Limited, is hoping at least for a change in curfew timings after the massive hit taken by the hospitality industry since the pandemic began.
"The restaurant and pub industry has been completely battered for the past one year," he told NDTV.
"For the last couple of months, things have started to improve a little with movement of customers. But with the new restrictions, definitely business is going to be affected. We totally understand there is a surge happening, but we also need to consider our industry."
"Other offices, businesses are allowed to function normally during the day and the curbs come in at night. But our business is such that people step out only in the evening...It is my request to the Chief Minister and the government to maybe push it by one hour, maybe 11 pm in the night instead of 10 pm. The government is taking the full licensing fees from us. We need to recover all these costs," he added.
Bengaluru and six other cities in Karnataka will enforce a night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am starting Saturday, the government announced on Thursday.
The curfew, which will be in place till April 20, will also be imposed in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Tumakuru and Udupi-Manipal.