Food consultancy slams govt

Food consultancy slams govt

Facebook letter cries foul over latest curbs

An eatery in Siam Square area of Bangkok's Pathumwan district on June 30. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
An eatery in Siam Square area of Bangkok's Pathumwan district on June 30. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

A food service consulting company has slammed the government's latest Covid-19 restriction closing eateries in shopping malls. It presented a set of proposals asking the government to allow them to operate under strict disease control measures.

Restaurants' True Friend posted an open letter to the government on Facebook, crying foul over the restriction imposed in 13 red-zone provinces.

The restriction allows only supermarkets, pharmacies and vaccination centres in department stores, shopping malls, and community malls to open, but eateries and restaurants on the premises are ordered closed, the company said.

"The restriction baffled operators of the restaurants and eateries. Did it really help curb transmissions? Supermarkets are still more crowded,'' the company said.

The restriction has resulted in thousands of employees losing their jobs and compensation from the Social Security Fund is not enough to cover their expenses, the company said.

The impact has also been felt by major operators which have large market shares in business, which in turn will affect the country's GDP.

Stocks of food ingredients which cannot be released have spoiled, affecting the operator's investment capital, the company said. "These operators have sustained an accumulation of damage caused by the government's restrictions,'' it said.

The operators have to struggle to survive by finding locations outside shopping malls to sell food, leading to further operating costs, the company said.

This is not to mention supply chain operators and farmers which are linked to the restaurant business and affected by the restriction, it said.

In light of this, the company has presented a set of proposals for consideration by the prime minister and the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

It wants the government to allow restaurants and eateries in department stores and shopping malls to open kitchens and cook food for delivery services, with orders made via online delivery platforms only.

Orders will not be collected in front of the restaurants and eateries. Pick-up points outside the premises will be decided by the premises' owners. Only employees who are involved in the food production process will be allowed to work.

The timeline of all staff on duty will be checked and they must follow health safety protocol set by the Public Health Ministry. Staff must undergo rapid antigen testing before carrying out their work.

It added that restaurants and eateries have always cooperated with the government and are willing to comply with its measures.

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