Famous for its south Indian dishes, Bengaluru’s iconic Vidyarthi Bhavan restaurant has decided to stop dining services due to the coronavirus scare. The eatery which reopened on June 8 when Unlock 1.0 began will stop serving customers from this weekend. “We have decided to discontinue serving in the restaurant from Saturday (June 27) but continue parcel for takeaways due to rising coronavirus cases, which pose a risk to our customers too,” Bhavan partner Sridhar Adiga told IANS.
He said they were following the Karnataka government’s guidelines and were able to serve 40-50 customers instead of about 100 at a time to maintain social distancing after reopening. As waiting time for customers doubled, they could do little to stop overcrowding at the entrance.
“As we do not want customers to spend more time waiting outside for their turn to get inside, we have been encouraging many of them to take parcels to eat at home comfortably. But many, including women and children, insist on eating in the restaurant,” said Adiga.
The eatery has also hired guards to regulate the entry of customers to avoid crowding in the dining area and maintain social distancing.
“We have also made wearing a mask, hand gloves and head cap by our staff mandatory to ensure hygiene and comply with the guidelines,” said Adiga.
The eatery will also take more orders online to deliver the food at the customers’ homes to avoid them crowding the place.
“As we have more regular customers than visitors, we do not want to disappoint them or deny serving their favourite dishes. We will ensure that they will continue to get what they have been patronizing over the years,” added Adiga.
Though the popular eatery at Gandhi Bazar in the upscale Basavangudi southern suburb has been following the guidelines to maintain physical distancing with plastic partitions between customers, it has not been able to cater to all due to space restrictions and the service taking a longer time.
Known for its delicious South Indian dishes, including butter masala dosa, idli, vada, upma and pongal, the 77-year-old Bhavan is located in a congested market, with shops and roadside kiosks cheek-by-jowl.
The restaurant will monitor the situation and decide when to resume dining-in service after two weeks, as there is no let-up in Covid cases across Bengaluru.