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Restaurants cash in on New Year feasting

Restaurant earnings jumped by more than 100 per cent during the New Year holidays compared to the same period in 2021 thanks to more people eating out with their families and friends.

“Besides, many hawkers and street food vendors closed their shops for the New Year break, which drove customers to restaurants,” Thaniwan Kulamongkhol, president of the Thai Restaurant Association, said on Monday.

“The government’s decision to allow in-house dining has significantly helped with the restaurant industry’s recovery, especially from December 30 to January 2,” she said. “However, it remains to be seen if sales will drop later in the month due to several factors, including the Covid-19 situation.”

Thaniwan added that the number of people eating out during the New Year holidays is an indication that the Thai public is not too worried about the Omicron variant.

“People had been restricted under lockdowns for far too long and they wanted to let off steam during New Year break after working hard all year,” she said.

“Most people believe that dining out at restaurants is still safe if they use caution, including wearing facemasks and maintaining a safe distance from others.”

The Thai Restaurant Association president admitted that restaurants are risky as they may spark new infection clusters, especially if the operators do not strictly adhere to disease control measures including getting all staffers double jabbed and restricting the sale of alcohol.

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