|The Economic Times, India|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Aug. 4, 2005 - MUMBAI, India -- Hotels in Mumbai haven't had it easy. On Torrential Tuesday, occupancies soared over 90 percent as India Inc booked every luxury room available.
However, once the rains subsided, occupancies are down to 50 percent thanks to cancellations of domestic and international flights. Naturally, food & beverage departments have been hard hit as many banquets and corporate events were cancelled. Hoteliers say tight occupancies raked in the revenues for two days, but food & beverages suffered.
"Due to supply shortage, we could not have a-la-carte at all our restaurants. We had to arrange for buffet lunches and dinners. Also, employees were overworked as many of them on the second shift couldn't reach the hotel that day," said Rattan Keswani, senior vice-president, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Mumbai.
Hotels in north Mumbai (near the airport) were worse off than their counterparts in the South. Compounds and basements were under water, and gas supply was also tight after the fire at Bombay High. "We had to manage guests, food and service with a lean staff. Also, our hotels were getting flooded, so we had to take care of parking areas and areas such as the swimming pool and lawns, " said a senior ITC official.
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