June 3, 2020
Even though the economic downturn in this global pandemic has left many feeling helpless, Inday, our Indian-inspired eatery, has risen to acts of altruism by feeding surrounding communities.
Faced with a rapidly growing number of coronavirus cases, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo ordered all bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16th.
“We were shocked,” said Inday founder and owner Basu Ratnam (referring to himself and his staff) when they were notified of Cuomo’s order. Ratnam has three Inday locations: the one in Kew’s building at 1133 Broadway, 708 Third Avenue, and 570 Lexington Avenue. He is preparing to open another in Bryant Park. Although Ratnam had to shut down all of these locations, Ratnam kept his employees on the payroll for a time after closing to make sure that they had some sort of steady income.
However, Inday’s generosity and kindness for others did not stop there. On April 13, Ratnam opened his 708 Third Avenue location, not for pick-up or delivery for the general public, but solely for first responders. With only eight employees working in this location, Inday has been routinely serving from 300 to 500 meals per day to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response at Weill Cornell and NYU Langone medical centers. Ratnam has also made it a part of his initiative to partner with Rethink Food, a nonprofit organization that works to recover excess food to provide low or no-cost meals to families during times of crisis.
With the continued shutdown due to COVID-19, thousands of restaurants have been dealing with numerous setbacks: staying open for only limited days and hours, furloughing 75 percent or more staff members, and even permanently closing. According to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, four percent of New York’s restaurants had permanently closed after the start of the pandemic, with more expected to close in the near future.
Having steered Inday through the difficult NYC restaurant market for four years, Ratnam understands what it is like to put one’s heart and soul into a restaurant. He also understands the struggle that restaurant and small business owners are going through now to survive, and he had this advice: “Top down is less important” at this time. Ratman recommends listening to your team, preparing for the long haul, and working out deals that help others in business during these unique times.
By putting these strategies into practice, Ratnam re-opened Inday’s Midtown East location at 708 Third Avenue for takeout and delivery for the public as of June 1st. To keep the restaurant safe and in the best condition during this pandemic, Inday has rented a car and hired a driver to pick up and drop off employees so that they avoid public transportation. There are also several different shifts a day, a safe zone, and a policy for employees to take their temperature each day. All of these steps encompass what Inday has shown itself to be: a restaurant that is there for its employees, customers and community.
“There is a lot of opportunity for innovation, for change. We are going to come back from this. We all have to do our part,” says Ratnam.
Looking forward, Ratnam hopes to reopen the other Inday locations, including the 1133 Broadway location, at some point in late July to early August. As we return to greater normalcy, let’s remember to support the heroes who helped our medical community, innovated their way through this time and made sure their staff and customers were and continue to stay safe.
Click here to order online from Inday’s Midtown East location at 708 Third Avenue.
Open for pick-up and delivery, with pick-up hours 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
You can also download their mobile app, “Inday App,” through the app store.
Visit their website here or call 646-928-0027 for more information.