The markets across the city that have witnessed heavy rush of customers on the occasion of Dhanterus and Laxmi Poojan, failed to continue the vibrancy on Friday. Most of the showrooms of ready-made garments, footwear, jewellery and grocery shops were missing the heavy flow of customers which had filled excitement in the markets during the pre-Diwali days. However gift articles dealers and sweet sellers, to some extent, defied the trend as they remained buoyant on the eve of Bhai Dooj. These showrooms were full of customers till late in the evening. But the restaurants and roadside eateries in many places in the city were the outperformers who were seen attracting a large number of people. Restaurants in places like Sadar, Sitabuldi, Dharampeth, Shankar Nagar, Sakkardara, Medical Chowk, Jaripatka, Central Avenue, Manish Nagar, Pratap Nagar, Manewada Chowk, etc. were seen full occupancy. Long queues of customers waiting for their turn were also reported in some of the restaurants.
Tejinder Singh Renu, President of Nagpur Residential Hotels Association, confirmed that most of the restaurants are witnessing full occupancy. People were also seen visiting open restaurants on highways in the outskirts of the city for dinner. People along with their friends and family members were spotted visiting these places for lunch and dinner. “Festivals like Diwali are very special for our sector when people love to enjoy food in restaurants. They come with friends and relatives to spend quality time,” said one of the restaurant owners, adding that he is expecting a rise of 30-35 per cent growth in the business.
The restaurant owner also highlighted that he has lined up special dishes for the festive season. “We have also made elaborate arrangements for events like Diwali Milan and family get-together,” he said. Another restaurant owner also said that he is receiving overwhelming response from the customers. “This is a peak season for us as a record number of customers are arriving here. We are finding it difficult to accommodate all of them,” he said. In addition to this, a couple of food delivery boys also told The Hitavada on Friday that they are receiving an increased number of orders. “I have received almost double orders for food delivery as compared to other days. I think this will continue for the next one week or so,” he said.