Sigh of relief as buffet services are back

Rokiah Mahmud & Syazwani Hj Rosli

Following the easing of some restrictions on social distancing announced during a recent press conference, buffet services are now allowed to resume.

However, only waiters and restaurant staff are allowed to serve food to diners.

The de-escalation for the buffet services carried out starting Monday received a positive response from food operators and diners.

Noorazimah who runs her love cook food service for Ambuyat expressed her gratitude over the announcement.

“Even though social and physical distancing are still emphasised, I’m happy I can run my business and serve buffet to diners.

“We know that only the staff and waiters are allowed to serve food, so we provide an order list to customers.

“They can order as many times as they want as long as the food does not go to waste,” she added.

Steamboat and grill buffet for individual set. PHOTO: ROKIAH MAHMUD

“We have been closed for months as we only offer buffet services, but since the announcement allowing for buffet services, I think we will be back on our feet. We will follow the Ministry of Health (MoH) guidelines and safety measures.

“We hope diners will also cooperate as we need to ensure everyone’s safety and slight changes may need to be made to their orders.”

Due to COVID-19, numerous buffet-style restaurants and hotels were also severely affected.

Since the restriction was lifted on the recent de-escalation plan, restaurants and hotel cafés breathed a sigh of relief as their businesses are slowly getting back on track.

Lambaian Indah Restaurant, famed for its all-you-can-eat steamboat and grill buffet menu, said they are not ready to serve buffets yet.

‘’When the ban was implemented, we were closed for three to four months. It was challenging for us.

“We believed it was a test from Allah the Almighty, so we waited patiently until the idea to serve all-you-can-eat Set Kenyang where customers could enjoy our set meals and top up for free,” she said.

It was early August when they began resuming their business with the Set Kenyang after receiving requests to re-open.

When the restriction for buffet meals was lifted, they were still doubtful whether they should offer buffet-style service.

“We are taking extra precautions.”

A chef at The Rizqun Coffee House said they are focussed on diners’ safety and comfort when buffet service is offered.

“Our current buffet promotion focusses on individual and private events only. It is still not open for the public.”

The restaurant management is planning on offering promotions for the public in the near future.

The MoH reminded the public to practise social distancing, maintain cleanliness, scan the BruHealth QR code when entering and exiting premises. Restaurant staff are also required to wear face masks and hair-nets.