Few takers for dine-in option

Restaurant Selvaa is minimising risk by just offering takeway.

Restaurants are not rushing to open their premises even though the prohibition on dining in has been lifted.

Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association president T. Muthusamy said he has advised members nationwide to weigh the risks.

“It would be good if they could open for dine-in and provide delivery and takeaway options.

“Restaurant owners must train their staff to adapt to new practices when dealing with customers.

“SOPs are important but at the same time, restaurateurs must care for workers’ health and give them vitamins to boost their immunity,” he said.

Muthusamy added that most association members were in a financial squeeze as they still paid for their workers’ rent and salaries. Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari earlier said that dine-in would now be permitted in the state but social distancing must still be observed.

Restaurants, food courts, roofed stalls and food kiosks could serve food and drinks in their premises from 7am to 10pm, he said in a statement.

Klang Lek Bak Kut Teh Restaurant manager Teoh Kok Keng said customers would be permitted to dine-in.

“We will allow two to three at a table but business has been slow. We encourage takeaway and it has become popular among many of our regular customers,” he said.

Restaurant Selvaa owner Selvadurai Thangarajoo said he has not opened his restaurant for dine-in.“Our customers are not keen and we feel the risks are minimised by only offering takeaway service,” he said.33 Food Station supervisor Allen Chuo said there were strict rules for dining in at the food court.

“I have limited seating and stalls. I do not encourage customers to dine-in but if they insist, we will allow them as long as they follow the rules,” he said.

Klang Municipal Council (MPK) president Dr Ahmad Fadzli Ahmad Tajuddin said consumers must adopt new habits when dining out.

“Besides ensuring social distancing is observed, customers’ body temperature, names and phone numbers must be recorded to allow contact tracing if there is a case of Covid-19,” he said.

Ahmad Fadzli added that high standards of cleanliness must be maintained, including frequent cleaning of touchpoints.

“Restaurants must ensure that customers feel safe when dining out as this would have an impact on their business, even after the Covid-19 threat is over.

“It is all about building trust and restaurants must have high standards of hygiene.” Ahmad Fadzli added that the decision on whether to allow customers in would depend on individual owners.

“Food takeaway is becoming the new normal and it would be better if this continues,” he said.

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