Thousands of restaurants could close due to Covid restrictions, many more in trouble



New wave of Covid in Thailand, as well as the most virulent, and the lockdowns and restrictions because of it, is on the verge of ruining hundreds of restaurants.

Restaurateur Kamol Trisitthichet, 79, owner of Arlek Ratchawongse, spoke to Thai media about his ongoing struggles. He says his business has lost 500,000 baht since the start of the pandemic. Also, although it is open for take-out, its traditional Chinese establishment is not ideal for take-out.

“Takeout or online deliveries are not recommended and my regular customers know I’m against it.”

Restrictions that have killed the restaurant industry, such as dinner only (ending May 17) and restricted hours in “dark red” areas, and allowing only 25% of capacity, have forced companies compromise the dining experience, add pressure to opening hours and deprive restaurants of potential customers.

According to some experts, the Covid-19 pandemic will eventually force around 500,000 restaurant establishments to close across the country.

Dylan Jones, former co-founder of the Michelin-starred Thai gourmet restaurant Bo.lan, was particularly brutal in his criticisms of the situation. From his Instagram …

“The current situation regarding the government’s Covid response and their collective incompetence to guide the Thai hospitality industry through this pandemic, with a complete lack of financial and political support for small business owners (and in particular our hospitality industry) has certainly contributed to our decision. to call it a day.

Other restaurateurs have turned to the Clubhouse invitation-only audio app to voice their struggles with having to rely on takeout to keep their businesses solvent. Owners such as Sahaswas Chobchingchai spoke of issues such as proper inventory management and how he was forced to sell food at discounted prices rather than just throwing it away.

I can lose money but it’s better than 100% loss when the materials are bad.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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