09:00AM, Friday 30 October 2020
The owner of a Slough restaurant has described how tier 2 coronavirus restrictions has sparked competition among local businesses.
Slough moved into tier 2 on Saturday, which means residents are banned from mixing indoors, either at home or at hospitality venues, with anyone outside of their households or support bubbles.
Mahesh Haridass, 39, who owns Brindhavan restaurant in Park Street said that even before the town was placed in tier 2, custom was hard to come by.
“Already the tables were quiet,” he said. “But when tier 2 was announced takeaways also went down by 25 to 30 per cent.”
Mahesh, who runs the restaurant selling Indian cuisine with his wife, Bhargavi Raparla, says this is not because demand has decreased in the community, but because restaurants are becoming ‘panicked’.
“To save the business they are going for a lot more offers,” Mahesh said. “It’s a big competition.”
This is not good news considering walk-in diners have been in short supply for the restaurant since the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme came to an end.
“It was busy that month, after the scheme - people started panicking and again they’re talking about COVID,” he said.
He says since then business has been ‘nearly zero’ with only the restaurant’s regulars’ filling a few tables on Fridays and Saturdays.
In the absence of walk-in diners, take-aways have been keeping the business going, but Mahesh says this alone is ‘not profitable’.
“When only takeaway is going, it is not profitable for the restaurants to survive, it’s lots more cost,” he said.
Mahesh explained that this is because fast food delivery companies take a considerable cut for every order they collect and deliver.
“They are taking 35 per cent from every deal,” he said. “It’s not profitable.”
Up until now Mahesh has managed to continue paying his three full-time and three part-time staff without using the Government’s furlough scheme.
However, with business so slow, Mahesh is now ‘very worried’ about being able to continue this way, on top of paying his rent and bills.
“My rent is a very big problem,” he said.
Mahesh now intends on accessing the additional help the Government has put in place for areas affected by being in tier 2.
To find out more about Brindhavan restaurant go to brindhavan.co.uk
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