NRAI hosts 38th AGM; Celebrates the ‘Year of Unity’ for the restaurant fraternity
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) holds its first-ever virtual 38th Annual General Meeting (AGM) through video conferencing due to COVID-19.
President Anurag Katriar, chairing the meeting, thanked the Members for their unwavering faith in NRAI during these crisis times. He mentioned that it was truly inspiring and heartwarming to see the way our fraternity united and supported each other during this global crisis.
He briefed Members that NRAI is making every possible effort to ensure that the Restaurant Industry fights out this extraordinary crisis well and informed them about the numerous advocacy efforts taken by NRAI with Central Government and various State Governments/local authorities seeking policy as well as liquidity support for the betterment, upliftment and revival of the Restaurant Industry.
Anurag Katriar further briefed the Members on various initiatives taken by the Association during COVID-19 to support NRAI Members & their employees:
- NRAI SOPs / Safety Guidelinesfor the industry along with visual training aids, for making the Restaurant Business COVID-Proof.
- Feed The Needy: More than 67 lakh meals were served to the underprivileged during lockdown in 6 cities over 50 days.This initiative wasrecognised by World’s 50 Best as one of the top 50 effective campaigns for the hospitality industry in the world.
- Rise For Restaurants: Initiative for the Industry, by the Industry to help our Members raise some liquidity from their guests to take care of the urgent needs of people such as payment of wages to their employees during lockdown.
- NRAI TownHalls: NRAI’s first ever online platform to create a direct communication with the entire Industry has been very successful and will become a regular feature for direct communication between members and the leadership team of NRAI.
- Rise For Bars -NRAI partnered with Beam Suntory & Pernod Ricard India to support more than 4500 Bar Employees through direct transfer of funds.
- Pledge of Solidarity –Prominent Restaurateurs of the Country united to protect the larger interests of the sector by restructuring the terms of engagement with the Mall Owners and Landlords for a sustainable post-COVID business model.
- Relief For Distressed Workers -Providing one-month ration kits to over 5000 employees of the sector in partnership with PepsiCo India. This was equivalent to serving around 2.25-2.50 million meals.
- Tech Solutions for the Restaurant Industry– With a view to reduce dependence on the aggregators and eventually becomingAatmanirbhar, NRAI has initiated some serious tech initiatives such as Digital Ordering, Delivery and Loyalty.
- NRAI Instagram Live Sessions with Industry Leaders - This was an effort to share the wisdom of senior players in the sector with the larger audience during the pandemic.
Katriar also briefed members on the following advocacy matters taken up by the Association:
- FSSAI– Hygiene Rating/Menu Labelling,Food Safety Supervisor Training programme
- Ministry of Commerce & Industry (DPIIT) –Rationalising of Licensing norms and moving towards single window system, Improving Ease of Doing Business (EODB), Aggregator Issues/E-Commerce Policy
- Ministry of Finance- Restoration of Input Tax Credit (ITC) for Restaurants, multiple other fiscal relief sought due to COVID-19
- CII / NITI Aayog / PMO Office / Tourism Ministry / States -Easing / Rationalising of Licensing norms and improving EODB, Relief sought due to COVID-19
Further, he opportunely noted the following NRAI achievements which brought immense relief to the entire Restaurant Fraternity, especially during COVID-19:
After many follow ups, Delhi Government has approved adjustment of the Excise Fee for the period of lockdown and South Delhi Municipal Corporation(SDMC) has permitted service in open area.
Policy on 24x7 Operations issued and Reduction in Clearances / Approvals for Hospitality Industry. Permission for Transfer of Excise Licence and Deferment of Excise Fee Payment up to 30 September 2020.
Permission for Liquor Service in Restaurants was granted and Sale of Brewed Beer Stock with one hour extension in Operating Timing.
Application for MCG trade license and Fire NOC is online. No police license needed. Liquor License Fee: No increase in 2020-21 policy. Only state which has kept previous year fees. Additionally, Service of food and liquor allowed by paying 20% addition point fees. Ahatas : Bought under the ambit of FSSAI . They now need all licenses to operate as much as a Restaurant. Furthermore, they are allowed to serve liquor till 3 AM with additional fee. Eating places allowed to operate 24/7. Free trade has ushered in market prices, and Haryana has one of the lowest liquor purchase prices for quality product.
COVID relief :
- No coercive action by Labour department.
- First 2 quarters ( Q1/Q2FY21 ) liquor license fee waived off.
- Working on getting NOC extension for renewal of license.
The 38thAGM also marked completion of 1 year as President for Anurag. Shortly after taking over the baton, he announced new membership structure for Tier II and Tier III cities at very nominal rates. He mentioned, “NRAI has announced this special Membership structure and has also initiated opening of new Chapters in Vadodara, Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, Hyderabad and Chennai in order to make the Association more approachable, provide a strong shield for the small players and also provide advocacy, training, research as well as access to industry events at grassroot levels. NRAI needs to traverse both India and Bharat.”
In this short span and under his able leadership, NRAI has received immense national and international recognition and has undoubtedly emerged as the most vocal voice and most visible face of the F&B Industry through this crisis.
Expressing gratitude on the accomplishments and collaborations that NRAI successfully undertook during the last year, he said, “I am extremely thankful to the NRAI Office Bearers, Managing Committee Members, Trustees and Chapter Heads for voicing the concerns of the fraternity to the policy makers very effectively. I also want to thank all our Members for their continued support, faith, guidance and motivation that has helped NRAI scale new heights.”
Katriar reiterated that NRAI will keep on pursuing matters aggressively to bring in the necessary changes required to tap into the immense potential this industry holds.
The AGM witnessed the participation of the Country's most prominent restaurateurs and industry stake holders. Among those in attendance wereAD SinghfromOlive Bar & Kitchen,Pratik PotafromJubilant FoodWorks,Riyaaz AmlanifromImpressario, Priyank SukhijafromFirst Fiddle Restaurants,Rahul SinghfromBeer Café,Kabir SurifromAzure Hospitality,Rahul AkerkarfromQualia,Kabir AdvanifromBerco’s,Nitin SalujafromChaayos,Sagar DaryanifromWow! Momos,Aseem GroverfromBig Chill Café, Sandeep Anand GoylefromEssex Farms, Rachel GoenkafromThe Chocolate Spoon, Tarak BhattacharyafromHimesh Foods,Gauri DevidayalfromFood Matters India,Amrish ArorafromFountain Hospitality,Kazem SamandarifromFrench Bakeryamongst many others.
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