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Corona still eating into eatery profits

Business has picked up says Berala Kebab owner Nev Aslan.

AFTER getting their first taste of freedom as coronavirus lockdown restrictions ease, hundreds of diners are returning to shops to grab their daily fix of coffee as well as meals and snacks but will it be enough to keep local cafes and restaurants in business.

Outlets across Australia opened their doors for the first time on Friday after being allowed to only offer takeaway and closed for dining service for nearly eight weeks, with some bigger venues not re-opening because of the 10-patron policy.
Saying he is thrilled with how business has picked up since Friday, Berala Kebab owner Nev Aslan says he never lost hope.
“My business really only went down about 20 per cent,” he said.
“I have the best customers in the world who were really supporting me; I can see it.”
Mr Aslan says despite 10 diners being allowed inside, he has limited the customers to three, with others asked to wait outside for their orders.
“I am very aware of social distancing and am being very careful,” he said.
“I always respect the rules and regulations and my priority is to keep my customers safe.”
Mr Aslan said he had also noticed more customers trying to offer tips, despite him telling them that it was not necessary.
“It’s a little embarrassing but makes my very proud and happy,” he added.
Giving away a free oregano pizza with every coffee purchase, the team at Suhtan Pizza have also notice a big improvement this week.
“We have no trouble filling the 10 dining in spots but most of our business is takeaway anyway,” Rufus Thapaliya said.
However, Sibel of Sibel’s Cafe, said business was still pretty grim.
“Between the fasting and corona, we are certainly taking a hit,” she said.
“We’re just hanging in there and hoping things will improve.”
Cafe Cino’s Kelly Stewart said their business was definitely on the up and up.
“People started coming in on Friday to sit down and get back to normal which is great to see but it’s hard with only 10 being allowed at once,” she said.
“We can’t wait till we can let in more customers once more corona restrictions are lifted.
“We are confident that business will increase as everything gets back to normal.”
EastPark Cafe’s Lisa Lim says business is very quiet despite the dining restrictions easing.
“There are a lot of offices around us but most people are still working from home and so we are feeling that,” she said.
“Hopefully, everything will be better in a few more weeks.”