Cover Some Klang Valley restaurants feel it is not yet the time to allow dine-ins, preferring to stick to takeaways and delivery (Photo: Unsplash)

Although restaurants in the Klang Valley are allowed to have fully vaccinated customers to dine in, some F&B owners remain optimistically cautious

Last week, the then-caretaker prime minister announced that eateries in states under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Programme (NRP) would be allowed to have dine-in services for individuals who had completed their vaccination process.

F&B owners received this news with mixed feelings. Although many are eager to open their tables again, others remained wary, choosing not to allow dine-in until the pandemic situation shows significant improvement.

De.Wan 1958 in The Linc KL says they will stick to delivery and takeaway until they receive further clarification on dine-in SOPs. “We think the safety of our staff and patrons are paramount. Also, only 90 per cent of our staff have taken two doses," says Andre Shum, Chef Wan Group of Restaurants' managing partner.

“On the business aspect, we think it would not make business sense at all to open at these times when people aren’t coming out in droves. Opening up would mean rehiring and so on, and that would increase overheads. As such, we will remain closed for dine-in until we see it is viable and safe to open," he says.

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Damansara Kim’s Table And Apron shares these sentiments. “We think that having dine-in would be antithetical to the problem that we have at hand, namely the very high number of cases," says Table and Apron's founder Marcus Low. "We don’t think that many people have the desire to really go out and eat now. We're grateful that we have enough regulars that sustain us with takeout and delivery, so we will be keeping to that plan for now.” 

Also remaining closed for dine-in is the La Juiceria's group of restaurants including Super Saigon and Hawker Hall. “Our company is currently at 96 per cent vaccination rate. Some staff are awaiting their second dose. Some outlets are more geared and prepared to open than others. Those with alfresco seating will be good outlets to open first. We're still discussing and planning out all the manpower needed, staff vaccination schedules and updates, as well as the implementation of the new guidelines for the safety of everyone,” says Anabelle Co Martinent, La Juiceria's founder.

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Local ice cream chain Inside Scoop says they might consider re-opening when 100 per cent of their team are vaccinated.

“The number of cases is still at an all-time high so it's really not a good time to do dine-in. We were around 70 per cent fully vaccinated as of last Friday. I think our team aside, we also want to make sure our team’s family and the people they live with are also vaccinated,” says a representative from Inside Scoop’s marketing.

Pizza Mansion in Petaling Jaya says they are using this time to beef up their staff’s knowledge of SOP procedures.

“Training and constantly reminding staff on the SOPs is key. When we do open for dine-in again, we will take extra precautions to ensure safety of our customers and servers, such limiting seating to four pax a table,” the Pizza Mansion team says. 

See also: Covid-19 Vaccination: What To Eat, Drink Or Avoid

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