Despite the conditional movement control order, it has been a hectic week for Indian restaurants. According to many of the operators, the pre-Deepavali period is usually the busiest time of the year for them.
Lotus Group chief operating officer Datuk R. Ramalingam Pillai said his restaurant in Jalan Gasing is busy handling orders before the Festival of Lights. He said Lotus restaurants around the country will be closed for a week from tomorrow.
“This has been our tradition for years during Deepavali as it is a time for celebration. We need to give our workers a chance to sit back and enjoy a break. “Even though this year will be different since we are still in the middle of a pandemic, we can still find ways to observe the holidays in a useful way,” he said.
He said the restaurant has a mix of 60% local and 40% foreign workers, with most them coming from India. Ramalingam said several of their local workers had gotten police permits to return to their hometowns, mainly to meet their parents.
“The strict Deepavali SOP will be observed. Most of the other workers will stay back here,” he added, adding that two workers from Perlis gave up the opportunity to go back. Elder brother Tan Sri R. Doraisingam Pillai, who is Lotus CEO, said it will be a family affair with his workers this year.
“Our workers have been briefed on the importance of observing the SOP and we have faith in them,” he said as he, Ramalingam and another brother Datuk Nagasundaram Pillai joined their workers in a show of moral support as they rushed to meet Deepavali orders.
Spice Garden chain of restaurants managing director Pardeep Batra said his restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru, Langkawi and Genting Highlands will be open as usual for Deepavali.
“We have always kept our restaurants open during Deepavali. Some of our workers will be on leave,” he said, adding that there are a total of 40 workers.
Batra said the chain has come up with promotions and deals for the festive season to keep things going.
Source: The Star