‘24×7’ initiative begins: Many eateries, malls stay open to tap into weekend crowd

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In a communique released on Friday, BMC gave suggestions to hoteliers and malls to offer high discounts post midnight.

Mumbai's ‘24x7’ initiative began from Friday night with the BMC circulating a detailed note among hoteliers and restaurant owners on the steps that they should take to increase footfall in order to improve the night-time economy.

While the ‘Mumbai 24 Hours’ scheme is set to officially begin from January 27, many restaurants and malls have decided to keep their premises open through the night on Friday itself to tap into the weekend revelers.

In a communique released on Friday, BMC gave suggestions to hoteliers and malls to offer high discounts post midnight. The civic body said also that better perks for the staff working in the night shift, converting certain areas in malls for sports, food festivals, late night exclusive screening 3D projections and big events can attract more customers.

The other suggestions included malls considering giving permissions to live bands to play music on general concourse areas. However, no tickets should be sold and purchased.

These activities should only be for the entertainment for those visiting the malls, the communique added.

Noting the disappointment of standalone restaurants — located outside gated premises — the BMC suggested them to use food trucks. “Restaurants near railway stations, hospitals, airports and other areas can use food trucks without opening their eateries,” said an official.

Meanwhile, if establishments profit from the scheme, they may have to pay extra for security.

An official said, “It has been proposed that if footfall increases drastically and there is a hike in revenue, additional payment for services of the police force may be considered on the lines of what is done when cricket matches are organised. A review over the next weeks will decide on the future course of action.”

The BMC reiterated that establishments can stay open for extended hours or for 24 hours every day, on a few days, weekends, public holidays and select weekends.

Moreover, if any establishment is found serving alcohol beyond 1.30 am, it would lose its alcohol permit for two years. In case of gated community premises, they would lose the right to operate for 24 hours.

Meanwhile, discussions on where food trucks should be allowed to operate have thrown up eight possibilities — Juhe Chowpatty Road, Girgaon Chowpatty Road, Bandra-Kurla Complex Road, Worli Seaface, Bandra Bandstand, Nariman Point Road, Nariman Point (NCPA corner), near Mafatlal Bath and opposite Grant Road.