ARE DELHI RESTAURANTS NOT SAFE ANYMORE?
Increasing cases of brawls at restaurants have left the hospitality industry on edge
The script of the recent brawl that took place at The Wine Company in Gurgaon seems all too familiar. The customers and restaurant staff get into fights on petty issues, in which restaurant’s property is damaged, and both parties are injured. Next morning, everything is blown out of proportion on social media and the blame game begins. Clearly, culture of hooliganism from the streets of the Capital has found its way to its restaurants.
“It seems something is in Delhi’s air that these things keep happening. A restaurant is a place for the civilised to socialise but The Wine Company incident highlights that it’s clearly not the case,” states chef Sabyasachi Gorai, who is the owner of Lavaash.
Megha Kohli, head chef at Lavaash, also recently got into a tiff with guests. “There was a birthday party going on at the restaurant. The bar was shut. However, the guests kept asking for alcohol and we went out of our way to serve them. But when the restaurant was about to close, the guest got extremely rude and abusive and they didn’t let us shut down. It’s disappointing that grown men can stoop to such level,” says Kohli.
There was a time, when the hospitality industry followed the golden rule: ‘guest is always right’ but that doesn’t seem to be the case now. “Guest is not always right. But you have to respect and listen to the guest. If there is a disagreement, then it needs to be solved in a professional and a polite manner,” says chef Manish Mehrotra, owner of Indian Accent. He further adds, “Although, there are CCTV’s to monitor but in certain situations when things go out of hand, then even CCTV can’t help.”
And there are times, when a lot of situations get out of control for petty reasons. “Situations should never be allowed to escalate to a point that there is violence,” says Sumit Goyal, owner of Gastronomica.
So what can the restaurants do to prevent such situations? “From CCTVs, hiring verified and educated bouncers to training the staff on how to resolve conflicts peacefully, we do everything we can to avoid fights. But sometimes, no amount of preventive measures can help. So yes, the hospitality industry is on edge because we are being blamed for the fiasco rather than the individual who did it,” says Umang Tewai, owner of Junkyard Café and Junction.
A restaurant is a place for the civilised to socialise but The Wine Company incident highlights that it’s clearly not the case SABYASACHI GORAI, CHEF It seems even the tiniest bit of misunderstanding triggers a violent response in Delhi. But blaming the restaurants or the owners is not the correct way to go about it MANISH MEHROTRA, CHEF