Restaurants looking to make up for lost business

A toss to prosperity: Tan showing the yee sang platter at the restaurant, which is open throughout Chinese New Year. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Restaurants are hoping to make up for losses suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic by going the extra mile this Chinese New Year.

Many have decided to open throughout the festival to cater to customers who are willing to spend more during the festive period before taking off themselves after that.

At Jalan Padang Victoria here, CRC Restaurant manager Tan Boon Ping, 48, said it will be open on Chinese New Year’s Eve, followed by the first and second days of the New Year.

“We were closed for a week during Chinese New Year last year, and only reopened after that for takeaways.

“Now that dine-ins are allowed with bookings coming in, we decided to open for business throughout the festive period,” she said.

Tan said although the restaurant is fully booked on the eve, while half of the tables have been booked during the festival, she hoped there would be last-minute walk-ins to take up the remaining tables.

Penang Koo Soo Kwong Choon Tong Restaurant and Tea Shop Association chairman Vinah Yee, whose association has about 360 members, said most restaurants will be opened throughout Chinese New Year to recoup losses from the past two years.

“In the past, restaurants would close on the eve and first day of Chinese New Year for the staff and owners to celebrate at home.

“However, after suffering major losses last year, they are working hard now.

“Almost all restaurants will open throughout Chinese New Year, and will only take their break after the 15th day of the festival,” she said yesterday.

However, not all eateries are able to make that push, due to staffing reasons.

“We will be closed during Chinese New Year due to staff shortage,” said food court hawker John Tan, 35, who operates at two outlets.

“Some 80% of our staff are Chinese and they will be returning home for the festival, and the remaining foreign workers cannot run the stalls by themselves,” he said.

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