Cambodia – Pandemic: Restaurants and bars begin to limit dine-in options

Food establishments across Cambodia, especially in the main centres of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap province, have started to limit the services they are offering to customers because of the escalating COVID-19 outbreak in the Kingdom.

The worsening health pandemic has already prompted the Cambodian government to institute preventive measures such as ordering the temporary closure of schools, KTVs and cinemas across the country.

While there is still no closure order for restaurants and similar establishments, many of these businesses have taken upon themselves to find ways to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

Over the last few days, many restaurants and other food establishments have put up notices that though they remain open, their services will be limited to take-outs or deliveries.

The Godfather Restaurant Pizza & Pasta, an Italian restaurant in downtown Phnom Penh, is one such establishment.

“Dear fellow customers, due to the prevailing epidemic of Coronavirus, for your safety, we would like to inform you that from March 17, 2020, our restaurant will stop serving in-store. At the same time we will start selling delivery at very attractive prizes,” a post on the pizzeria’s official Facebook page stated.

Bistro Manila, a newly-opened Filipino restaurant in Phnom Penh, also announced that they are open for pick-ups and delivery only. “Social distancing is in effect when you visit us,” they said.

While Emperors of China has yet to ban customers eating inside its restaurant the upscale Chinese restaurant in Khan Makara 7 said it is, however, taking precautionary measures.

“The safety and health of our staff and customers are important to us. We are continuing to monitor government advice and take care to ensure that our restaurant remains a safe place to visit,” yesterday’s Facebook page said.

“In addition to our already high hygiene standards, our staff are being re-trained on all hygiene practices,” it added.

There are also reports that St 308 in Phnom Penh and Pub Street in Siem Reap, both of which are popular hangouts for ex-pats, have been partially closed for the meantime to halt the COVID-19 outbreak. These two areas are well known for their large number of restaurants, pizza joints, bars and other drinking and eating establishments.

The number of business closures resulting from the impact of COVID-19 is starting to cause layoffs and reduced hours for many hospitality workers. While there are still no widespread reports of restaurants and similar establishments laying off workers, this will most likely start to occur as the pandemic causes havoc throughout the Kingdom’s economy and devastates its hospitality and tourism sectors.