Eateries want clear guidelines on procedure for packing food

The new table arrangement at Mr LokLok restaurant in Bandar Seri Alam, Johor Baru, adheres to the government’s SOP.

RESTAURANT operators in Johor Baru are requesting for clearer guidelines from the government on the procedure for packing food at eateries selling food buffet-style.

Ale-Ale Nasi Lemak Restaurant owner Mohd Rafee Abdullah, 47, said the matter was unclear as some restaurants allowed customers to serve themselves while others did not.

“If we allow customers to take their own food, it defeats the purpose of ensuring physical distancing among customers and affects hygiene because they would have touched the same utensils.

“This poses an infection risk to others,” he said.

Mohd Rafee was thankful that dine-in is now allowed as this would help boost business.

“We suffered a 50% drop in sales when the movement control order was imposed on Jan 13 as most of our loyal customers preferred to dine in.

“Somehow we managed to survive through constant promotions on social media and delivery service providers,” he added.

Johor Food Truck Association chairman Yusrezan Samsuri, 45, hopes that inter-district travel will be allowed once the Covid-19 situation in Johor improves.

“Operating in the city centre means our customers are mostly office and hotel workers and sales at night would drop.

“So we depend on outsiders who stay in hotels in the city centre. Unfortunately, the movement restriction affects our income,” he said.

Yusrezan added that the food truck business near Sentral Hotel Johor Baru was now surviving on food delivery and loyal customers in the surrounding areas.

Experiencing the same situation was Mr LokLok restaurant owner Mohd Radzi Ab Wahab, 41, who said his family-friendly eatery in Bandar Seri Alam continued to receive support from loyal diners in nearby housing areas.

“We closed our restaurant for two weeks after the second MCO was imposed to avoid losses and gave between RM100 and RM200 allowance to all our workers.

“We do not have an online delivery service yet but we are constantly promoting our shop on social media,” he said.

Mohd Radzi added that customers had been cooperative in complying with the new dine-in regulations.

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