Friday, 19th April, 2024
Friday, 19th April, 2024

Eateries in the soup again as virus cases spike

Restaurants in Dhaka had just started to ride out the coronavirus crisis but the surge in Covid-19 cases in the last one month has been pulling it down again.

For instance, the upscale Dhaka eatery 138 East retrieved 80% of its customers until the first week of November since its reopening in July. With a surge in the virus infection rate, sales in the remaining days of November then nosedived to around 40% compared to its corresponding period last year.

The 138 East is a favorite hangout for diners who love contemporary American and European cuisines. Customers come to the place to renew their taste-buds with grilled barbecue chicken, sirloin steak, roast lamb, soups, salads, savories and desserts ranging from Tk180 to Tk2,999.

After the opening, the restaurant in Dhaka’s Gulshan minimised its dine-in capacity from 200 to 120 guests in a bid to maintain social distancing. Even with limited seating arrangements, 138 East Managing Director Ashfaq Rahman Asif said the eatery had been recovering gradually in the last couple of months.

“The impact of the so-called second wave of Covid-19 has affected our business since the second week of November. We fear the slump in sales may intensify in the coming days,” said Ashfaq.

The impact of the so-called second wave of Covid-19 has affected our business since the second week of November. We fear the slump in sales may intensify in the coming days

By Ashfaq Rahman Asif
Ashfaq has three other restaurants in Gulshan and Banani. He said there are more than 250 restaurants in those upscale areas and all are facing the same kind of business losses.

The American-Australian retail coffee house chain Gloria Jean’s Coffees has five outlets in Dhanmondi and Gulshan, employing around 150 staffers.

The surge in the infection rate has hurt the chain too.

Gloria Jean’s Head of Business AFM Murshed Elahy told The Business Standard that it had recovered business by around 90% until October. “But it has dropped to around 65% since November,”he added.

“People in posh areas like Gulshan and Banani are relatively conscious about virus safety. The fear of infection has affected our business again,” Murshed Elahy commented.

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