“I have never seen such a crisis in my 34-year restaurant business before,” says Mithu Chowdhry, general secretary of the Bangladesh Restaurant Association in Britain.
His Bangladeshi curry restaurant – Mogul Dynasty – has been running in a residential area in Kent County near London for 28 years. After the threat of the coronavirus spread, the number of guests (customers) was quickly reduced so that they had to close the restaurant even before the government directive.
Now, Mithu Chowdhry is trying to keep the restaurant running by bringing food to people’s homes by ordering food online and on the telephone. He said sales have declined by at least 60 percent. Seven of his 16 employees are working. The other nine are sitting at home. I’ve seen a recession twice in this country before. First in 1989, then in 2008. I’ve never seen a situation like this. We don’t know how to survive.
Mithu Chowdhry says that the ‘mahamanda’ is coming and businesses are forced to lose business even after the restaurant is opened. I’ve decided I’ll have to cut at least 25 percent of the staff.
Abdul Ahad, City Spice, Brick Lane, London, Brick Lane, is known as the Curry Capital of Britain. The sar sar has been locked in almost all of the Bangladeshi food restaurants for the past few weeks. Two or more have started the tech-away service in the evening stake for the past few days. Abdul Ahad, owner of the famous Bangladeshi restaurant City Spice, brick lane, said his 120-seat restaurant was closed for eight weeks. Like him, all 12 of his employees sit at home.
MG Moola, Rajnagar and Barazi, Birmingham, The Second Largest City in Britain, have been running curry restaurants in The Solihal area for 33 years near Birmingham.”The top-end restaurants are very well known in Birmingham and the surrounding areas,” says THE director MG Maola.
He won the British Curry Award multiple times. Ministers, MPs, politicians are in the restaurant. For 20 years, The City of Mishilin was on the list. But he has been launching Tech-Away since last week to survive. ‘I’ve never thought of tech-a-way in 33 years. I didn’t want to ruin the brand. But what do I do now? Staff call repeatedly to see what they’re doing now. Rajnagar has now started a tech-away service with 10 of the 20 staff.
Wahid Rahman runs a 62-seat curry restaurant called Test of Avilly, a small village in Essex County, near London, Essex, for over 20 years. The restaurant is closed but he too has started a tech-away service.
‘Tech-away doesn’t get it. If the customer doesn’t get in and sit at the table, the sales don’t go up. Yet only the village customers have to run the tech-away. He has left four of the eight staff.
Mithu Chowdhry of the Bangladesh Caterers Association says that from the high level of government talk, they have come to the idea that they may open a restaurant bar in mid-June. He says an announcement on May 21, but some conditions, including playing social distances, may be covered. ‘The question is, what will happen then? If I had to reduce my 100 seat capacity to 50 seats, would business be profitable?
How long will this ban be enforced – one year? Two years? What are we going to do then?’