The food and beverages industry was limping back to life since last October once the fear of the first wave of COVID began to die down. Even as they heaved a sigh of relief, the second wave of corona hit the country and things have turned worse. In Hyderabad, the pubs are facing a tough time due to the new scenario.
With the Telangana government imposing night curfew and central government pondering over imposing lockdown, the chances for pubs are rather bleak. Also, this time, the COVID strain is said to be more potent and the cases are increasing rapidly.
Another fear factor for the pubs is the fact that most cases of COVID are being reported in people between the age group of 20-45, who happen to be the primary customers for pubs. Various pub owners bemoan the fact that they might be forced to take stringent measures to stay open.
One pub owner reveals that house-keeping contracts were not renewed following the first wave. He also confesses that this time around, cutting down on salaries might be a consequence.
Another pub owner shares pub business is rather capital intensive and says that maintaining a whole lot of staff might become impossible in days to come. Lay-offs could become common, he says.Another pub owner reports that some of his staff has returned to their hometowns once talk of lockdown began. Given the situation, many pub owners in the city feel that remaining in business could be a huge challenge in the coming months. Many say that during the first wave, their landlords waived rents out of goodwill. But the same might not be the case this time around they say. Some have begun to ask their staff to come on alternate days and take home half salaries.
In all, the second wave might result in many establishments closing owing to pressure from various quarters.