Reservations for banquets on the rise

GEORGE TOWN: Bookings for wedding banquets and annual corporate dinners are resuming after drastic drop due to Covid-19 restrictions earlier this year.

One restaurateur, who wished to be known only as If, said he had received reservations for weddings with around 30 tables for each event, while some companies had started to book to host their end-of-year meals.

“The restaurant now offers packages ranging from RM200 to RM2,000 per table and orders are increasing.

“We have decided on the packages to cater for the upcoming holidays and celebrations, but we still have to promote them due to the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. “

Yew said most of their customers were regulars who were assured of the restaurant’s security measures.

As additional precautionary measures against Covid-19, Yew said all 100 employees at their three outlets have undergone regular Covid-19 testing.

“All employees are tested weekly for a report to be submitted to the Department of Health.

“For those who serve dinners or parties, they must undergo another test before starting their service for the occasion,” he said.

Yew, however, noted that bookings for this month are currently around 30% lower than in 2019.

“This is probably because many companies made less profit during the pandemic.

“Fortunately, there are still a few companies that have done well and are willing to spend more to reward their employees,” he said.

Penang Koo Soo Kwong Choon Tong Restaurant and Tea Shop Association President Vinah Yee said that although reservations for weddings were slowly increasing, restaurants were seeing increasing demand from families.

“We have around 360 members in the state and 80% of them are still active since Covid-19.

“Very few wedding reservations have been made as they are usually made a year in advance. We expect the number of wedding dinners to increase only after the first quarter of next year. “

She noted that many tables were set aside for family gatherings and for those who had not met for a long time.

“Corporate dinners are now more focused on encouraging employees to strive higher rather than rewarding them for the year, as many companies suffered losses and less work was done during the pandemic “she said.

The president of the Penang chapter of the Malaysian Hotel Association (MAH), K. Raj Kumar, also found that hotel bookings were on the rise.

“Some events that had been postponed earlier are now resuming,” he said.

“Many hotel ballrooms are fully booked every weekend until February. Some hotels even organize weddings on weekdays, ”he added.

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