Everyone has heard by now that Minister Lawrence Wong has ordered a restaurant in Holland Village to cease operations for failure to ensure their customers adhered to safe management measures. Also all restaurants along the stretch cannot not have tables chairs or serve outside.
The news and media spoke to the general manager of a restaurant in Holland Village which was ordered to shut for failing to ensure its customers adhered to safe management practices on Friday has said that it was beyond his control to manage customers who stood outside his premises to mingle with others.
Mr Khader Basha Ghouse Basha, 38, the general manager of British Indian Curry Hut said that patrons seen in the pictures circulating social media were a mixture of patrons from his restaurant as well as other food establishments along the street who had got together to mingle and smoke.
He carried on “The people who are standing on the street, who are not wearing a mask and smoking, we can’t go and control them,” he said.
Everyone has to play their part from customers to staff. Although the GM of British Indian Curry did say it is quite hard for anyone to tell those who are standing outside the restaurant, on the street, to not stand here, because not all of them are customers.
However in response the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) had ordered his restaurant, which is located along Lorong Mambong, to close “with immediate effect” on Saturday after crowds were observed outside the restaurant on Friday, the first day of Phase Two of the circuit breaker exit.
The restaurant will only be allowed to do takeaways next week and open for dine-in from June 29, “provided it has shown that it is able to implement safe management measures for its customers”, said URA in its statement.
Mr Basha said that two fights around the neighbouring premises, one at around 8pm and another at around 9.30pm, had also led to crowding in front of his establishment.
“Because of the fight, all the crowd gathered in front of our restaurant. The person who took the picture is assuming that people are waiting to patronise us, which is not right,” said Mr Basha.
He was referring to a photo circulating on social media which had shown groups of people standing on the road outside his restaurant. Other groups of people in the photo are seen sitting in the restaurant’s outdoor refreshment area.
While some customers had tried to drag their chairs over to join friends in other tables, Mr Basha said that his staff had informed them not to do so. He had also spaced the tables to ensure that they were 1m apart, he added.
There were also no queues for his establishment on Friday as it had only allowed people in based on reservations, said Mr Basha.
We all agree it is hard for businesses during these times and agree that patrons and customer to have to do their part.
In addition to closing British Indian Curry Hut, the URA said in a statement on Saturday that outdoor refreshment areas of all eateries along the sidewalks of Lorong Mambong will also be removed, with the street reopened to traffic to prevent people from gathering.
Mr Amit Kumar, the outlet manager of Wala Wala Café Bar was quoted on the papers as saying “business had taken a hit”. “ revenue on Friday was 60 per cent of a typical night pre-circuit breaker” “On Saturday, its revenue had dropped to 10 per cent of a normal night”
However we all must do our part with safe management measures. Its hard for businesses to see their revenues fall. There are also other businesses that have closed down permanently in their situation