‘We are ready to fight’ - Indian restaurant amazed at support for deliveries during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 12:52 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:25 15 April 2020
A restaurant owner has vowed to fight on when his business reopens after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.
Vijay Jetani, 35, owner and business director of Namaste Village on Queens Road, Norwich, said he is fully relying on his takeaway service to help the business while people cannot eat in the restaurant.
Due to demand, the vegetarian and vegan food business has applied for a premises licence from Norwich City Council to deliver alcohol Monday-Sunday, alongside food - something it has never done before.
To help boost income, Mr Jetani, of Reepham Road in Norwich, has started a delivery service of Indian groceries to people’s homes across Norfolk.
But to give something back to society, his restaurant staff have started making 50 dishes a week to go to NHS workers from the Queens Road base, at no cost to the frontline staff.
Mr Jetani, who opened the 110-seat restaurant in the former 19th century Methodist Church hall five years ago, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest challenge we have had. It is unprecedented. Like many other people, we are in shock.
“We don’t know if things will be the same when we reopen. We are ready to fight. We will stay active. People are appreciating what we are doing. It is amazing.”
The takeaway delivery service used to be a small part of his business but that aspect has now increased dramatically and Mr Jetani, along with two other members of staff, deliver an average of 35 orders a night Monday to Sunday.
He also wanted to start the grocery delivery business because he had the space to store goods in what was the dining space and because there was a lack of produce needed for Indian food in the Norwich supermarkets.
The restaurant owner added: “We can serve society where it is required.”
He added that he has orders from across Norfolk and he uses his own vehicles and staff to drop off orders to minimise any risk of spreading the virus.
As well as making sure food products are clean, eight of his staff, live in the Queens Road restaurant so they are not going to outside locations.
About five members of staff, who worked front of house, have been furloughed.
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