In an unprecedented move, several popular nasi kandar restaurants in Penang are gearing up for temporary closures or limited services as the city faces a scheduled four-day water outage starting today.
The water disruption, announced by the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) on December 8, is expected to have a significant impact on businesses heavily reliant on water, particularly those in the vibrant nasi kandar scene.
A potential loss of sales revenue: RM50,000
Among the affected establishments is Deen’s Maju Nasi Kandar Restaurant, whose manager, Mohamed Ismail Seeni Mohamed, expressed concern over the unforeseen challenges posed by the water shortage, reported Harian Metro.
This marks the first time the restaurant is forced to take a temporary ‘holiday,’ anticipating a potential loss of sales revenue amounting to RM50,000.
“We need a lot of water, for example, to wash about 150 chickens and 200 kilograms of rice every day, not including washing equipment and customer use.”
“If we open too, we are afraid that various problems will arise because we ourselves are not sure how much water needs to be stored during that period,” explained Mohamed.
5 days of ”holiday” for the staff
Similarly, Nasi Kandar Pokok Ketapang Restaurant has taken a proactive stance, deciding to halt operations as soon as the water disruption issue was announced.
Mohammad Uvas Mohammad Jamil, the restaurant’s manager, acknowledged the difficulty of water storage, granting a holiday to all 15 workers from tomorrow until the end of the water outage.
“We thought it would be difficult to store water. So we are giving all 15 workers a holiday from tomorrow until this Sunday. So there is no need to worry about what to do if there is no water later.
“It’s fine, what to do, even if we expect to lose an income of up to RM30,000. On normal days, if there is no problem, we are open every day from 6 am to 8 pm except for Eid,” shared Mohammad.
RM18,000 spent to rent 30 water tanks
In a different approach, Hameediyah Restaurant’s management representative, Shazwani Abdul Rahim, revealed their readiness to combat the water outage by investing RM18,000 in renting 30 water tanks, each costing RM600, from a private company.
Shazwani emphasised that all 300-liter tanks are currently filled with water, and the restaurant has been planning for about two weeks.
As a contingency measure, Hameediyah Restaurant will only be accepting orders for takeout during this challenging period.