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Elante opens tomorrow, but not the eateries

June 07, 2020 05:31 AM


Elante opens tomorrow, but not the eateries

Staff members sanitising Elante Mall in Chandigarh on Saturday. Shopping malls will reopen their doors to the public on June 8 as per a notification issued by the UT administration. Ravi Kumar/HT
Rajanbir Singh

CHANDIGARH : Even as Elante Mall is set to reopen on Monday, restaurateurs there have taken a call to keep their premises closed following disagreement with the mall owners over rent and anticipation of low footfall.

Owned by Nexus Malls, Elante Mall was catering to over 70,000 visitors a day before the lockdown was enforced on March 24.

However, with UT’s standard operating procedure (SOP) mandating social distancing and that all stores close by 8pm, restaurant owners say they won’t be able to function at full capacity or serve the dinner service, which will translate into losses.

Sunveer Sondhi, proprietor of Pyramid and head of National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), Chandigarh chapter, said restaurants will stay closed till the rent for the past two months was waived, as even after reopening, they can operate at only 50% capacity to maintain social distancing.

Restaurants also have to ensure that tables are sanitised after each customer leaves and air-conditioning needs to be maintained between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius.

Proprietor of Chili’s restaurant, Param Toor said, “We are asking the mall management for revenue share model, so that the rent is variable as per the footfall. After we reopen, I expect to get only 10-20% of the nearly 500 customers that we served a day before the lockdown, through dine-in, takeaway and home delivery.”

He said they will stay closed for a week or two, as they will only lose money if they reopened.

Owner of Sindhi Sweets, Neeraj Bajaj, who is also the president of Chandigarh Business Council, said all restaurant owners were united over the rent disagreement, and will utilise this time to renovate their premises before reopening.

As per the SOP, cinema halls and game arcades will remain closed for now.

While refusing to comment on the rent issue, the official spokesperson of the mall said, “Elante will open its doors to public on the June 8 as per notification issued by the Chandigarh administration. Elante, home to over 200 brands, will be open from 10am and operate till 8pm. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome all our patrons, whilst ensuring social distancing norms are strictly implemented. While we are confident that all our partners will smoothly resume operations, we also anticipate the re-opening to be a gradual process as SOPs are understood and get adhered to 100%

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