Some customers and restaurant operators in Lagos have expressed delight over the resumption of dine-in services in the state.
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Lagos State Government had directed that restaurants and fast food outlets were allowed to operate dine-in services from Aug. 14.
The directive, however, stipulated that they obey the COVID-19 guidelines for reopening, including keeping 50 per cent occupancy.
Mr David Fafemi, Assistant Operations Manager, Mega Chicken Restaurants Ltd, said they started recording increase in patronage since the resumption of dine-in services few days ago.
He added that the restaurant adopted some strategies to cope with the reduced patronage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a more efficient delivery service.
“The patronage is still low but we hope in weeks to come, things will pick up gradually,” he said.
Fafemi, however, observed that in spite of the guidelines being met and measures put in place, some customers were still afraid to dine-in.
“Whichever they prefer, we have put safety precautions in place. We have followed the guidelines given to us by the Lagos government and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),” he said.
A check by NAN correspondent at Mega Chicky restaurant Festac Town outlet found that automated hand sanitisers, wash hand bowls, soap, water, infrared thermometers were provided.
Among other COVID-19 protocols complied with at the restaurant were signages guiding customers and floor markings, two metres apart, signifying were they should stand.
A Customer, Mr Kamal Ibrahim, told NAN that he missed the social gathering and dining in, adding that even with the physical distancing at the restaurant, it was still an awesome experience.
Ibrahim, who said it was his second time dining in since the gradual ease of the lockdown, said he felt safe eating out because of the COVID-19 protocols observed by the restaurants.
“From the entry point, no one is allowed to enter without a face mask, there’s an automated hand sanitiser, so you don’t need to touch anything, there were also people to guide you on what to do.
“They’ve tried to ensure there’s no contact among customers. The table arrangement is for one or two people only and the staff are also wearing face masks,” he said.
Another customer, Mr Ugo Ewelaku, said it was more convenient for him to eat in rather than taking food back with him to office.
Ewelaku, who said it was his first time eating out since the ease of the lockdown on restaurants, was happy because the economy was picking up.
He commended the state government for efforts being made to open up the economy so that businesses were not grounded.
“As much as we are trying to be safe, we must look at the economy as well, we must reach a balance. So, if all of us are alive and we have nothing to eat, it’s a problem.
“The law is there, people do not have option but to comply,” he said.