I’m missing my Balti fix and, to be honest, the takeaways I’ve had just don’t compare with the real thing. So, with the possibility of restaurants reopening in July or August, I thought that I’d get a view from one of the leading Balti restaurants, Shababs.
Zaf, their owner, told me that they had ticked over with their own takeaways with a smaller team of staff but obviously this was no substitute for normal restaurant trade. Yet, he remained pleasingly optimistic and still hopes to go ahead after a short delay with some expansion plans.
In the meantime, he had applied for a couple of government support regimes which he was hopeful of securing which would be critical in providing financial stability.
Like a lot of restaurant owners, he would prefer the ‘French’ one metre distancing rule but if the UK Government stick to two metres, this will at least halve his capacity although he has got an upstairs area. In terms of safeguards, he is resigned to the likelihood of employing somebody on duty solely as a cleaner for door handles, table tops, toilets etc but other measures may depend on whether the distancing measures are still in force in the critical (for restaurants), run up to Xmas. This could then well include Perspex screens an expenditure probably demanding a more than decent investment but probably worth doing if it means the restaurant can run at full capacity pre Xmas.
Let’s hope that Shababs and others ride out the storm and balti bounces back!