~President Riyaaz Amlani reflects on achievements and shares plan ahead~
The National Restaurant Association of India held its 34th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Delhi today which was presided by Shri Shailender Singh, Chairman, MCD Standing Committee, South Delhi, as Chief Guest.
Besides giving the audience an update on activities of the association Mr. Riyaaz Amlani, President, NRAI, shared news on breakthroughs the body has made over the past 12 months on issues it has been pursuing with the authorities across cities.
Some of these that liberated the Food Services’ Sector from restrictions were:
- Cabinet approval on the Model Shops and Establishments Act that allows shops, malls and other establishments to operate 24×7.
- Decision on the delivery bikes issue – Ministry of Road Transport and Highways allowed fitment of boxes for delivery.
- Formation of a subgroup by the FSSAI to amend rules that govern safety standards at eating establishments with NRAI.
- Announcement by the Delhi government about removal of the tourism license given to restaurants, bars and cafes; and implementation of single window clearance system from 2017 onwards for the restaurant industry.
- Exemption from providing Effluent Treatment Plants for restaurants having up to 100-seat covers connected with Municipal/ Delhi Jal Board STPs (as against the earlier 36-seat cover clause).
- Announcement by the Maharashtra government about designing a single-window clearance mechanism to promote restaurant and food services business in the state.
- Announcement by the Maharashtra government about eating houses, permit rooms, swimming pools and lodges not requiring police permissions to function anymore. Restaurants and bars fell under this order’s ambit.
- Reduction in the number of licenses required to 31 from the earlier 37 by the Maharashtra government for operating a restaurant.
- Provision of single license from the BMC to suffice for operating or starting an eatery.
- Legal nod to rooftop restaurants in Mumbai.
- Extension of 1 am deadline for bars & pubs from weekends to weekdays as well by the Karnataka government.
He also reflected on the exponential growth that the restaurant industry is undergoing. Noting from the recently launched NRAI India Food Services Report 2016, he said “The Indian economy is increasingly gaining importance on the global stage. The size of the Indian food services’ market is INR 3, 09,110 crore in 2016. Contributing a total of 11% to the food services market, Delhi NCR holds the highest market size of Rs 32,885 crore. However, it comes a close second to Mumbai when it comes to the number of restaurants in the organized market.” Sharing his concerns, he said, “South Delhi localities like Hauz Khas Village, Nehru Place, Defence Colony, Saket, Green Park and Vasant Kunj have emerged as vibrant entertainment and food hubs. But restaurateurs operating in these locations have been grappling with logistical and policy concerns. For example, municipal authorities are not permitting service in the open spaces and terraces available to restaurants within the premises. Curtailing this only causes loss of business to the restaurateur, loss of revenue to the government and reduces the enjoyment of tourists who are drawn to open air restaurants. Internationally, open air Alfresco cafes add considerably to the charm of the cities. Such service in the open areas should be continued in the capital city as well.”
He further added, “As President of the NRAI, my request to the authorities is to recognize the merits of restaurants and bars as spaces that encourage and enhance city life. NRAI has been successful in many of its endeavors but there’s a long way to go. I am thankful to SDMC for streamlining and making the licensing process online. With government’s support, I am hopeful that together we will resolve the pending issues.”
Addressing the audience during the AGM Shri Shailender Singh, Chairman of MCD, South Delhi, said, “The potential of the F&B sector is visible to us with the number of restaurants, pubs etc. that open up in the city. Restaurants cater to not only the residents of the city, but also act as top tourist hubs for people traveling the city/ country. We have been working closely with the association and have been taking steps to ensure ease of doing business. While we understand that current norms are not suitable to provide a robust nightlife to the city, we are taking steps to make the impossible, possible. In co-ordination with the NRAI, we are hoping to bring many developments for the restaurant sector in Delhi.”
The 34th AGM also marked the two year anniversary of Mr. Riyaaz Amlani as President, NRAI. In 2014, when he took over the baton as President, a decision was taken to streamline the membership process of the association to have substantial members voicing the concerns of the restaurant industry. In less than two years, NRAI now boasts of more than 5000 members.
Expressing gratitude on the accomplishments and collaborations that NRAI successfully undertook during the last year, Mr. Amlani said, “Last year brought us scores of progressive moves from the government bodies across cities as we (as NRAI) were able to table our concerns to the policy makers much effectively. We will continue to do so to bring in the necessary changes required to tap into the immense potential this industry holds. I would like to thank the NRAI Office Bearers, Managing Committee and Members for their continued support, faith, guidance and motivation that helped the NRAI scale new heights.”
The AGM was followed by a grand cocktail reception that witnessed the participation of the city’s most prominent restaurateurs and industry stakeholders. Among those in attendance were Mr. Kabir Advani from Berco’s, Mr. Sandeep Anand Goyle from Essex Farms, Mr. Sunil Malhotra from The Embassy Restaurant, Mr. Rohan Jetley from TGI Fridays, Mr. Unnat Varma from KFC India, Mr. Sumeet Chugh from Nizam’s Kathi Kabab, Mr. Satinder Sarna, President HKV Traders Association, Mr. Vikrant Batra from Café Delhi Heights and many more.
National Restaurant Association of India is the voice of the Indian Restaurant Industry. Founded in 1982, NRAI represents 100000+ restaurants, an industry valued INR 3,09,110 crores.
NRAI is the leading association of the Indian restaurant industry and aspires to promote and strengthen the Indian Food Service Sector. The association in its 34th year has a pan India presence with members comprising of restaurants, suppliers and educational institutes associated with it.
The association works closely with a network of State and City chapter partners in Mumbai, Gurgaon and Bengaluru and aspires to lead the Indian Restaurant Industry to greater profitable growth. It represents the interests of members through advocacy, training, research and industry events.
NRAI aims to
- Advocate changes in the laws governing the Indian Restaurant Industry at local, state and centre levels,
- Provide opportunities to educate members
- Play a key role in promoting skilling and career opportunities for industry professionals through the Hospitality Sector Skill Council.