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Coronavirus effect: NRAI issues 'COVID-proofing' guidelines to restaurants

Coronavirus effect: NRAI issues 'COVID-proofing' guidelines to restaurants

Coronavirus effect: NRAI issues 'COVID-proofing' guidelines to restaurants
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By CNBC-TV18 Jun 25, 2020 3:56:01 PM IST (Updated)

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has issued safety guidelines for the restaurant industry in the country to operate effectively amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has issued safety guidelines for the restaurant industry in the country to operate effectively amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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The NRAI has teamed up with the skill-tech firm, Releski, to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) for food establishments in the country. The SOP covers all aspects of restaurant business from seating arrangements to kitchen hygiene in a bid to “COVID-proof” eateries.
Among the guidelines include maintaining a gap of two metres between tables and ensuring contactless service wherever possible.
“NRAI, as the most responsible industry body, recognized this problem and hence, partnered with Releski, a Bengaluru based skill-tech company that has hospitality in its veins, to create the most comprehensive set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the post-pandemic era,” the NRAI said in a statement.
It added: “Amongst the challenges that we foresee in building procedures and earning consumer confidence are issues concerning social distancing, reducing touch points, receiving and handling of goods and general health sanctity of the employees.
“These SOPs cover all these issues and much more. It seeks to provide our consumers with a feeling of safety in the restaurants rather than instilling a sense of panic.”
The SOP covers guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the health ministry and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
About its guidelines, the NRAI president Anurag Katriar said: “With various agencies of the Government releasing their own version of SOPs, we felt that it is important that NRAI releases its own set of comprehensive guidelines to its members which encompasses all the critical guidelines issued by everyone. Idea was to create a document that is practical, easy to understand and easy to implement for our members.”
The NRAI represents over half a million restaurants in India.
Restaurants are one of the worst-affected businesses in the country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with restrictions on people’s movement and social distancing norms in effect.
After the initial prohibition on the opening of eateries, they were allowed to offer takeaways and gradually authorised to let people in provided they followed the government’s guidelines.
However, restaurants are witnessing a drastic fall in numbers with social distancing reducing their admission capacity and people being wary of venturing out of their homes with coronavirus cases rising steeply across the country.
A number of restaurants are facing the prospect of closure due to a downturn in revenues.
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