Labour shortage keeps Ipoh eateries from operating 24 hours again

IPOH: Some of the popular 24-hour restaurants and eateries in the city are still unable to operate fully, despite the country being in transition to the endemic phase of Covid-19 since April, because of a worker shortage.

A survey of some outlets, especially nasi kandar and briyani eateries, found they had also been affected in terms of service and quality.

Nasi vanggey restaurant owner Ahmad Azlan Shah Saiful Jaafar Sadik, 31, said his restaurant at the Greentown Trade Centre could only operate from 10am to 11pm as he only had a workforce of 10, comprising both local and foreign workers.

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"We don’t have enough workers so we can't operate 24 hours like we did before Covid-19 hit,” he said, adding that he had submitted an application to recruit 30 foreign workers from Pakistan about four months ago, and only got it approved last month.

With his application now approved, Ahmad Azlan said he is looking forward to better business and hoped the process of bringing in the workers could be expedited.

"I understand that the process takes more than a month, so I have made plans in order to provide better service to my customers," he said.

Meanwhile, nasi briyani rice restaurant owner Abdul Hamid Abdul Mutalib, 60, said he was still his application for 20 foreign workers, which he submitted three months ago, was still in process.

He hoped it would be approved soon so that he could operate his business smoothly.

"Currently, I only have 10 employees, including two locals, at the restaurant. I tried to find local workers, but they are not interested.

"Some came, but they worked for a day or two and then disappeared,” he said.

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"I have also been to a skills college to find culinary graduates to offer jobs in my restaurant, but it was in vain as they are more interested to work in hotels.

"I hope the government can expedite bringing in foreign workers to help restaurant operators like us survive because the foreign workers we used to have went home when the pandemic hit," he said.

It was recently reported that the shortage of workers caused many business premises, including restaurants, to be unable to operate 24 hours. – Bernama

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