X'Mas and New Year's Eve
While permit room owners managed to secure permission to keep their bars open till 5 am on Christmas and New Year's Eve, orchestra bar owners had a tough time convincing the government and had to move high court for the same.
Orchestra bar owners moved court on Friday requesting
an extension on the party deadline
Confirming that they had moved court, Bharat Thakur, a member of Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) and orchestra bar committee head, said, "We moved the court on Friday, seeking permission for orchestra bars to have equal right to do business on such days. We are happy that the court accepted our argument and has given us permission to keep the bars open till 5 am."
Another AHAR member, requesting anonymity, grumbled that last year, the state police had forced many bars to shut at the eleventh hour stating that orchestra bars were not permitted to run till 5 am. "Hence, to avoid any last minute harassment, we decided to move court.
Why can't the government declare a permanent extension of deadline for these days, as every year we have to make an appeal for extensions? In spite of getting a clearance from the Home department to operate till 5 am on December 24, 25 and 31, last year many hotels in various areas were not allowed to operate beyond 12.30 am."
Let women serve?
Last year, bar owners had also sought extension of deadline for women waitresses at their respective bars. However, the court had rejected their plea then. "This year, we did not propose an extension of working hours for women waitresses as it is not taken positively by the government. Extension to run the bar till 5 am is good enough for us," added the member.
Sudhakar Shetty, president, AHAR, said, "Even though the Home department has allowed permit room owners to keep their establishments open till 5 in the morning on Dec 24, 25 and 31, the hoteliers are apprehensive about doing good business.
Hike in liquor price by 50 to 60 per cent, introduction of 25 per cent VAT and 10 per cent service tax by the centre is going to prevent the revellers from splurging on alcohol."
Be ready to pay more
As per a survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), star rated hotels in the metros have reportedly upped the prices in their restaurants, pubs and hiked room tariffs by nearly 30 to 60 per cent to cash in on the festive mood.
ASSOCHAM interacted with 100 managing directors, banquet, restaurant and food, and beverage managers of the leading hotels in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune.
They discovered that nearly 40 per cent of the respondents had geared up to host New Year parties and anticipating a rise in footfalls, have upped prices in their high-end pubs and restaurants by over 50 per cent and are charging anywhere between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 per couple for gourmet food, accompanied by unlimited premium liquor packages and table reservation. While 70 per cent of the sample said that they have decent bookings for the New Year parties.