Eateries in Penang adapting to current situation


GEORGE TOWN: Restaurant and coffee shop owners here are applying the lessons they learned from the first movement control order last March in keeping their business alive during the current lockdown.

“We are more prepared this time around, we are getting the staff to work in shifts, ” said Luca Nobile, who is the head chef of an Italian restaurant.

He said to attract more customers this time around, promotions and discounts will be given to those who pick up their own orders instead of using delivery services.

Under the current MCO, which lasts until Jan 26, only takeaways are allowed.

Raja Mohamed Mohamed Aliar, 45, who runs a roti jala stall in Little India, said he survived by providing catering services to companies.

“As my stall has been around for over 60 years, people know the quality of my food, ” he said.

Loh Siew Hoong, 53, who runs a wantan mee stall, said he is trying to stay afloat as his business has taken a beating since the pandemic first hit.

“I used to be able to sell 120 plates a day. But I had only one takeaway (yesterday). I am not sure what strategy to use. Although I have delivery services, very few people order online, ” he said.

Original Kayu Nasi Kandar managing director Buruhan Mohamad said the first MCO was a learning experience for his chain of eateries to branch out into online and delivery orders.

“We learned a lot from the first MCO, especially in managing not only our food delivery service and orders but also our banking methods.”

Buruhan said they are prepared to go fully online this time around.

Hameediyah, the country’s oldest nasi kandar restaurant, has also joined the online and delivery services bandwagon.

Its director Muhammad Riyaaz Syed Ibrahim said prior to the first MCO, they used e-hailing services, but after the recovery MCO, they decided to have their own delivery service as well.

“We have introduced special promotions too, ” he said.

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