Mumbai: As the state Cabinet on Wednesday approved the plan to allow malls, multiplexes and restaurants located in non-residential areas to remain open 24x7, restaurateurs and members of the hospitality industry has welcomed the move much awaited by them. Entrepreneur and restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani, the CEO & MD of Impresario Handmade Restaurants and former president of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), shares his views on the impact the move will have on the Mumbai City, its economy, tourism and its people.
Speaking on the Cabinet decision, Amlani stated that the tag of 'Maximum City that never sleeps' will truly make sense after the nightlife concept is implemented in Mumbai. Amlani says that he hopes to focus his attention on the vital role that nightlife will play in Mumbai.
Amlani said: "As restaurateurs, we feel that in a city like Mumbai we are unable to serve our consumer’s demands adequately because by the time they get home from work it is already 10 pm or later than that, and by the time you dress up and step out its already near midnight. Most places shut by 12 am, so there’s not enough time for leisure post a hectic workday or even on a weekend."
Amlani added, "The vibrancy of any world-class city is usually defined by its thriving nightlife. And with Mumbai being the financial capital of the country, and possibly one of the most forward from a contemporary cultural perspective, we need to have a more vibrant nightlife."
Elaborating on the boost in employment opportunity due to the 24x7 nightlife concept, Amlani pointed out that Mumbai witnesses a flow of over 5 lakh visitors a year. "Most of them end up staying here only one night. Correspondingly, we have over 5 lakh employees in the hospitality sector. So there’s a direct connection between the number of people coming in and the jobs that can be created in this sector. And if you can get these visitors to stay one more night in the city, you suddenly have 10 lakh visitors. This can significantly impact employment numbers. And if you have a 24/7 employment landscape, you can employ more people in different shifts. So restaurants that are open 24/7 can employ 10-15% more workforce to accommodate this. Plus it also helps the city in terms of decongestion, because you suddenly don’t have deadlines imposed. It makes the city more liveable and loveable. There are many benefits we can get from this 24X7 approach."
The NRAI has always been pursuing the concept of Mumbai nightlife, had been emphasising on how beneficial nightlife will be for the city. Targetting all those who criticised and questioned the Cabinet decision, Amlani said: “I don’t understand how something that is legal in the day becomes illegal by night. With the cabinet approval, we now expect the city of Mumbai to become a financial model that can be replicated across India."
Amlani and his team are currently busy chalking out a plan of action to include their restaurants to the 24X7 concept. "We are putting a plan of action in place; we can’t do this in isolation without taking into confidence all the neighborhoods we are located in. But, we are going to take full advantage of this new ruling in the coming days. This is a great move for restaurants and the city of Mumbai, we welcome it wholeheartedly.