ARE DELHI RESTAU­RANTS NOT SAFE ANY­MORE?

In­creas­ing cases of brawls at restau­rants have left the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try on edge

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Ab­hi­nav Verma ab­hi­nav.verma@htlive.com

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

PHOTO: ISTOCK

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