National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) Kolkata chapter is looking to creating a training institute for food safety and hygiene. The Kolkata chapter led by Wow!Momo CEO Sagar Daryani has decided to seek West Bengal government’s assistance to the build the necessary infrastructure for the same.
“We can, with state government’s endorsement, set up an institute to train existing human resources employed in the food service sector on food safety & hygiene norms, sharpen their soft skills, update them about best global practices and use of latest equipment,” Daryani added. The training infrastructure will, in time, become a platform for training and creation of new work force ready to operate in the food sector.
Elaborating on the proposed initiative, NRAI Kolkata chapter head said, consumers are becoming more conscious with every passing day. “They want more & more transparency and we, as a fraternity, are willing to give it. We want to provide soft skills and food safety training to youth in rural areas as well as provide them employment opportunities in restaurants,” he pointed out.
This apart, NRAI Kolkata chapter has urged state government to provide a single-window system for all food and beverage service outlets in the state as it feels that there are multiple departments responsible for providing licences and renewals. “The single window system should be online, simple, transparent, time-bound with deemed approvals for both new licences and renewals,” stated the nrai India Food Services Report 2019 for Kolkata.
Elaboratomg, Daryani said, “one needs to obtain about 12 to 15 different licenses to open and/or operate a restaurant in India.” Most of these licenses are as per archaic rules involving multiple departments, and are irrelevant in the present scenario. Obtaining various licenses/NOCs is a time-consuming and a cumbersome exercise. The process is not centralized and requires filing applications with the individual government departments at central, state and local levels. The huge documentation and compliance discourages the unorganized segment from coming into the official fold.
The plethora of licenses and documentation required discourages the unorganized segment from coming into the official fold, deters entrepreneurs/investors from entering this industry and also reduces investment by domestic and foreign companies in India, claim industry circle.
NRAI Kolkata chapter head pointed out the main idea behind the platform is to bring together the industry under one platform in order to coordinate ground work and action pertaining to government issues, regulations and representations. “This will help in getting the large unorganised sector into the organised fold — thereby improving food safety, hygiene and government revenues. Growth of the industry will also significantly boost job creation in the state. This is the only industry that offers multiple opportunities for various job roles/levels with varying education and skill levels,” Daryani added
As per the report, the city’s food services industry is worth Rs 5,049 crore and it employs 66,000 people in Kolkata alone. The city’s organised food chain market is estimated at Rs 1,979 crore, while standalone restaurants’ market is worth Rs 3,070 crore. The city ranks 7th in terms of restaurants’ market size in the country. The all-India restaurant industry is worth Rs 4.23 lakh crore in India, and it is likely to expand to about Rs 6 lakh crore by 2023, according to NRAI report.