Birmingham restaurant in-car dining not Covid-friendly, say police

Birmingham restaurant in-car dining not Covid-friendly, say police

Indian restaurant must change plans for a luxury three-course meal in the car park next to premises.

A Birmingham restaurant which was preparing to offer a luxury three-course in-car dining experience has been asked by police to change its plans.

Varanasi in Birmingham was preparing to offer customers a luxury in-car dining experience. Photograph: Varanasi

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Birmingham restaurant in-car dining not Covid-friendly, say police” was written by Jessica Murray, for The Guardian on Wednesday 10th February 2021 13.35 UTC

A Birmingham restaurant which was preparing to offer a luxury three-course in-car dining experience has been asked by police to change its plans.

The Varanasi Indian restaurant on Broad Street in Birmingham was planning to launch a service in which customers could eat a meal, styled on business class airline food, from their vehicle in a car park next to the restaurant.

However, the restaurant’s manager, Abdul Wahab, said the police had now told them coronavirus regulations prevented establishments from using land adjacent to their premises for seating or standing capacity.

He said: “Look, if that’s the rules, then we want to adhere to the rules, and we won’t promote dining in the car park. But it is a bit disappointing. We thought if you’re in your car with your household or bubble, we didn’t really see that was an issue.

“The standard drive-through [restaurants] are offering a collection service where people are going into the car park and they’re eating it there,” said Wahab.

“We’ll still do our takeaway service and still present it the way we intended on presenting it. We’re just going to tell customers they’re not allowed to use our car park for eating and where they go and eat is not down to us to enforce really.”

Varanasi, which has been closed since the start of November, had already trialled the service last week, in preparation for launching in time for Valentine’s Day.

A spokesperson for West Midlands police said: “Our licensing team, who work in conjunction with the local authority, have contacted Varanasi and advised them to amend their drive-through meal plans in order to comply with the current coronavirus regulations.”

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