Restaurant association urges NCOC to reopen indoor dining

Asad Umar
Asad Umar
Commerce Reporter

In a letter to NCOC chairman Asad Umer, Islamabad Restaurants Association has demanded NCOC to reopen the indoor dining facility to save the industry from further economic collapse.

IRA registered its utmost disappointment on the decision that NCOC took, on August 2nd 2021, regarding the immediate closure of indoor dining due to increase in covid 19 positivity ratio nationwide.

IRA mentioned that an SOP was established by NCOC that allowed indoor dining based on Vaccination of all restaurant staff and only vaccinated customers to be allowed indoor dining but now NCOC put aside all the efforts made during past few months and banned indoor dining while it is unfair to bundle all restaurants into one category.

IRA also questioned the unfair treatment with the restaurant industry while other activities where the spread of covid 19 has a higher probability, continue.

All malls are open, all public transport is transporting unchecked passengers, all gyms are open, all mosques are full to capacity, and political parties are holding unchecked huge rallies and all tourist locations are open without any SOP follow up.

Association believes that it is a complete misunderstanding of the industry when NCOC thinks that the restaurant industry is not really affected by this decision as outdoor and ecommerce delivery system is still open.

As majority of the restaurants in Pakistan have over 80% dependency on indoor dining. Most of these restaurants cannot pay their salary and rent bills once indoor dining is closed.

With the closure of indoor dining dependency increases on third party e-commerce food delivery companies who charge more than 30% commission in most cases making the restaurant business unprofitable.

Letter mentioned that for most restaurant owners, this is their only bread and butter. A closure of indoor dining makes them a zero revenue business and hence multiple restaurants have already closed shop in the last eighteen months.

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