JOHOR BARU: Hotels in the Johor capital have started accepting bookings for Ramadan buffets ahead of the fasting month, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pulai Spring Resort marketing communications manager Charlotte Monterio said the resort started receiving bookings for its buka puasa buffet since a few days ago.
“Previously, we would have individuals or companies booking a few weeks or even a month before Ramadan, ” she said.
“However, due to the uncertainties this year, people have adopted a wait-and-see approach in case there are further government announcements on the movement control order before making a decision.”
To date, she said the resort had sold about 300 early bird vouchers, which customers could use during the Ramadan month.
“We are confident the number of bookings will increase as Ramadan draws closer and during the Ramadan month itself.
“However, unlike in previous years, we can only accept a maximum of 100 people a night for dine-in, which is about five times less than our actual capacity, ” she said.
Holiday Inn JBCC marketing communication assistant director Keyin Tay expects the hotel to receive more walk-in customers this year.
“People have started calling since last week asking about our buffet, the standard operating procedure we have in place and activities we will be hosting for Ramadan.
“However, bookings are coming in slow and so far, we have only received one booking from a company. There is none yet for individual bookings.
“We expect more people to walk in for dine-in during Ramadan this year rather than making an early booking, ” she said.
She highlighted that the hotel had the capacity of hosting between 100 and 120 people in its restaurant at any one time, putting in place the physical distancing requirement.
“This will be the first time we are having a Ramadan buffet as the hotel opened in October last year.
“We hope our Ramadan buffet will be a success as our Valentine’s Day promotion attracted about 20 couples in one night, ” she added.
Malaysian Association of Hotels Johor chapter chairman Ivan Teo said hotels started intensifying their promotional efforts to attract diners for the puasa month.
“Previously, hotels and restaurants were unable to get customers for Chinese New Year buffets as the lifting of the dine-in restriction came too late.
“This time, they have more time to prepare and step up their promotional campaigns ahead of the fasting month, ” he noted.