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India's Restaurants Join Coronavirus Fight; Will Deploy Facilities To Feed Underpriviled

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said it aims to serve up to 10 million meals to the poor, migrants and others impacted by the lockdown.

Corinavirus

Amid the 21 day lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said it aims to serve up to 10 million meals to the poor, migrants and others impacted by the lockdown. The beleaguered restaurant industry has also requested landlords in the food and beverage (F&B) sector for their help and support including a complete waiver of rentals and common area maintenance for three months up to June 2020 or till such time that the business lockdown. The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) represents the interests of over 5,00,000 restaurants.

Speaking to the media NRAI President Anurag Katriar said, "As a responsible and large industry body, we realise that our available infrastructure of kitchens, employees and storage facilities can easily be leveraged to address one of the key current concerns in India -- how to feed the underprivileged."

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These meals cost anywhere between Rs 20 and Rs 25 per head and the financial resources for this initiative will be partially crowd-funded, NRAI said in a statement. The association plans to use the extensive infrastructure of kitchens and restaurants of its partners across the country to produce and distribute up to 10 million meals in coordination with various authorities and NGOs during the period of this lockdown, it added.

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NRAI writes to landlords 

Requesting the landlords in the food and beverage (F&B) sector the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) in an open letter said, "Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown announced by the govt, our industry is going through an unprecedented crisis that threatens our very existence. We are fighting a very grim battle for our survival and we seek your immediate support."

As long-standing business partners, the restaurant industry seeks your urgent help and support in these troubled times, it added. "While this shutdown may continue for a month or two, we will take many more months post that to get back on our feet and we will not be able to sail through this period smoothly without your support," the letter said.

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NRAI proposed interim measures to the landlords such as "a complete waiver of rentals and CAM for a period starting 15th March-2020 up to June-2020 or till such time that the business lockdown continues, whichever is later". It requested them to waive off minimum guaranteed rents for a period of six months post resumption so that businesses can eke a survival to fight another day.

"We instead propose working on a pure revenue share model for a period of six months post resumption. We further propose revenue share equivalent to 50 per cent of the agreed terms with possibly a maximum cap at 10 per cent. We also request rationalising CAM during this period and levy charges at 50 per cent of the agreed rate," the letter said.

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(with PTI inputs)

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