Thrissur: While 9,500 restaurants were shut down in Kerala during the pandemic, 24,000 new Arabian restaurants were newly opened. Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association released the data that 9,500 hotels that were registered in the association were closed due to COVID-19. Other than this, 4000 hotels that were not registered in the association have also been closed.

The registration details of Food Safety Department revealed that around 25,000 Shawarma- Al Fahm- Mandi restaurants have been newly opened in the state. The cost of registration for these shops is only Rs 100. A license is required only if the annual turnover crosses Rs 12 lakhs.

There are several Arabian restaurants that function without registration.

Most of the restaurants that have been closed are medium to high-class hotels that were functioning in rended buildings. Almost 60 percent of these are vegetarian hotels. The decrease in business and increase in expenditure is the reason why majority of these shops closed.

The autonomy that Kerala has secured in the field of poultry farming has increased the scope of Arabian restaurants in Kerala. Also, the fact that Arabian dishes will be available for cheap cost increased its consumer base.

Most of the newly opened Arabian restaurants are run by NRIs and people who returned from other states during the lockdown.