Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Brunei Town

Brisk business post Ramadhan

Azlan Othman

Restaurants are experiencing brisk business in the post-Ramadhan period as Bruneians return to patronise eating outlets.

Customers are feeling the pinch of slow service, however, as restaurants experience
worker shortage.

Some restaurants have been unable to replace foreign workers whose permits have expired and have returned to their home countries.

A worker at a North Indian restaurant in Kampong Sengkurong said they normally have 12 workers on a shift basis, but now have to make do with only six, affecting their service.

Another restaurant worker in Kampong Kiulap, who wished to be identified only as Boy, said he has had to multi-task and cover multiple roles. He buys groceries for the restaurant early in the morning, makes drinks and takes orders from customers at the same time.

“Luckily I’m being paid extra to cover my fuel costs,” he said.

Businesses are all facing difficulties in securing workers to fill the gap.

They hope for an improvement in the procurement procedures for labour, and welcome any effort to resolve the manpower shortage.

Meanwhile, mother-of-three Yanti, who runs a business from home selling delicacies for Sungkai and Hari Raya, said she was inundated with orders and had no choice but to reject some to avoid being overwhelmed.

She said she had her hands full attending to customers who wanted to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri. “My business has received very encouraging response from the public and I am busy meeting customer demand.

“Other businesses have also seen an increase in sales activity during Hari Raya, and with the declining daily new COVID-19 cases,” she said.

Meanwhile the three-day Hari Raya public holiday gave an opportunity to foreign workers and locals to spend a day out, with shops being particularly crowded.

Visits by the Weekend found that foreigners were shopping on the lookout for new gadgets while parents brought their children to watch latest movies at the Cineplex.

“As Hari Raya visits this year were limited to close family members – which can be covered during the first and second days – we have another day to spend together,” said a father of five spotted buying Sonic The Hedgehog movie tickets.

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