IPOH, Aug 16 — Some of the popular 24-hour restaurants or eateries in this city are still unable to operate fully, despite being allowed to operate with no time limit with the country now entering the transition to endemic phase since last April, due to shortage of workers.

A survey by Bernama to some of these outlets, especially the nasi kandar and nasi briyani business, to be affected in terms of service and quality.

Owner of a “nasi vangge” restaurant at the Greentown Trade Centre,  Ahmad Azlan Shah Saiful Jaafar Sadik, 31, said his restaurant could only operate from 10 am to 11 pm as he only had a workforce of 10 local and foreign workers.

“We don’t have enough workers so we can’t operate  24 hours like we did before COVID-19 hit us,” he said, adding that he had submitted an application for the recruitment of 30 foreign workers from Pakistan about four months ago, and only approved last month.

With his application for workers now approved,  Ahmad Azlan said he is looking forward for better business and hoped the process of bringing the workers could be expedited.

 “I have been made to understand that the process of bringing them here takes more than a month,  so I have made plans so that I can provide better service to my customers,” he said.

Meanwhile, an owner of a briyani rice restaurant, Abdul Hamid Abdul Mutalib, 60, said he was still awaiting for development on his application for 20 foreign workers, which he submitted three months ago.

He hoped that his application would be approved to ensure he could operate his business smoothly.

“Currently, I only have 10 employees, including two locals, at the  restaurant. I have made various efforts to find local workers,  but they are not interested.

“Some came, but they work for a day or two and then disappeared,” he said.

“I have also been to a  skills college to find culinary graduates to offer jobs in my restaurant,  but in vain as they are more interested to work in hotels.

“So, I hope the government can expedite bringing in foreign workers to help restaurant operators like us to survive because the foreign workers that we used to have went home when the COVID-19 hit,” he said.

Bernama recently reported that the shortage of workers caused many business premises, including restaurants, to not be able to operate 24 hours.


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