Eateries expect high demand for sahur meals

PETALING JAYA: Restaurants are preparing to see more food orders at dinner time during this movement control order (MCO) period to accommodate those buying for sahur (pre-dawn meal) to observe the Ramadan month.

They are hopeful to make extra money from their online food delivery sales this time around, in the absence of the traditional Ramadan bazaars.

Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association president

T. Muthusamy says they are bracing for a high volume of orders from Muslim customers who will also buy for sahur.

“People have to prepare for sahur but cooking in the early morning may not be ideal. As such, we anticipate a surge in orders the night before, ” he said.

Muthusamy said they hoped the government could extend their operating hours to enable them to cope with the higher demand.

“Since our business has dropped by about 80%, if we are given the opportunity to do more business and longer hours, it will be most welcome, ” he said.

Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said they would continue to observe the no dine-in policy during this Ramadan.

“We will adhere to the government’s decision for all food operators, ” he said.

Under the MCO, supermarkets, grocery shops, convenience stores, petrol stations and food delivery services are allowed to operate between 8am and 8pm. Restaurants, which are only allowed to offer takeaways, also have to comply with the same operating hours.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa had on April 17 announced that any form of Ramadan bazaar this year would be banned, including via drive-through, pack-and-pick and e-hailing.However, Ramadan e-bazaar is still on in Selangor, where the state government will arrange the central kitchens and provide the logistics, with e-hailing riders coming to collect and deliver the food to customers.

E-hailing company MyCar, which launched its food delivery service MyMakan yesterday, said Muslims who need food for sahur must order them early.

“The food needs to be delivered by 8pm and we foresee an increase in orders during dinner time, ” said its founder, Mohd Noah Maideen, adding that MyMakan only caters to halal food delivery.

Delivery service provider Lalamove Malaysia managing director Shen Ong said the company expected to see a surge in delivery orders due to the many e-bazaar platforms set up for Ramadan.

The company, he said, had reminded customers to place orders earlier to accommodate Muslim delivery partners who would need to break fast too.

A GrabFood spokesperson said customers should make plans and place their food orders earlier so that they get them in time for buka puasa and sahur.

Caterer Mohamad Syazwan Khamis, 29, from USJ, expects more customers to order more food the night before as there would not be any delivery service before sahur.

He noted that he and his wife Bibi Azuriana Azusaini, 31, had to start delivering the packed meals in two cars by 3pm.

“We have to finish by 6pm, as we also need to get ready to break our fast, ” he said.

In Johor, food operators are cashing in on delivery services and takeaways to generate income during Ramadan due to the ongoing MCO.

Restaurateur Azizan Inche Harun said her eatery at Pusat Perniagaan Seri Saujana only prepared dishes for breaking fast during Ramadan now and a majority of her regulars were buying extra food for sahur too.

Other than takeaways, she also engages the services of five riders to deliver orders to areas in Pasir Gudang, Taman Molek, Bandar Seri Alam and Bandar Baru Uda.

Canteen operator Maisara Yasak from Bandar Putra Kulai, said she had been offering takeaways to customers in her neighbourhood who worked during the MCO.

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