At the meeting with restaurant bodies, Thackeray unveiled guidelines to be followed by eateries once they reopen in October. These included maintaining a distance of one metre between tables and strict hygiene standards in the kitchen and dine-in areas.
The one-metre guideline will mean that 50 per cent capacity will be permitted within eateries in line with what restaurant bodies have been demanding.
"Dine-in services have not been allowed for the last six months. If restaurants
have to reopen, they have has to start with 50 per cent capacity at least," Kalathur Vishwanath J Shetty, president, Maharashtra Rastrawadi Hotel Kamghar Union, said.
Last month, the state government allowed hotels to reopen with full capacity, allowing restaurants within these properties to operate only for in-house guests.
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), whose representatives were also present at the meeting on Monday, said that the chief minister had agreed to consider a waiver of excise license fees for the duration that eateries were shut.
"Also, the deadline for deferment of payment towards the first installment of the excise license fee has been extended to September 30," said Sherry Bhatia, president, HRAWI.
is a key consumption centre, along with Delhi, constituting nearly 25 per cent of the food services market, say industry experts. Metros such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad make up another 20 per cent of the food services market.
A recent report by the NRAI said that a third of eateries and bars had shut permanently between April and August in the country, due to the coronavirus
pandemic and the lockdown.
Nearly 60 per cent of the total restaurant market in India remains unorganised, while 40 per cent is organised. Though store closures have been rampant in the unorganised market, since the lockdown began in March, organised players are now shutting unprofitable outlets.