Restaurants at malls not allowed to sell takeaways directly to customers


BANGKOK (NNT) – Restaurants at shopping malls are allowed to reopen for takeaway and delivery orders, albeit with a new restriction in place barring direct contact between sellers and customers. Health officials have explained the measure is in place to ensure no crowding around the shop.

The Department of Health’s Director General Dr Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, has elaborated on the latest safety restrictions applied to restaurants at shopping malls, which are now allowed to open for takeaways or delivery orders without direct contact with the customer.

This new measure has added an additional safety gap for mall goers who wish to buy takeaways from the restaurants. They can now no longer visit the shopfront themselves to collect their orders. Instead, the restaurant or the shopping mall will need to set up a collection point outside the restaurant for customers, and may only take orders via online systems or phone calls.

Restaurants that can’t arrange such a facility will be forced to sell via food delivery platforms only, where delivery riders will come and collect the orders as usual.

Dr Suwanchai has explained this measure is in place to ensure a higher level of safety, which prevents customers from crowding around the restaurant waiting for their orders.

He said restaurants and shopping malls are also responsible for ensuring adequate management of the new food ordering system, in order to prevent crowding at any given time.

Meanwhile, restaurants outside shopping malls are still allowed to sell takeaway orders directly to customers. They are also encouraged to put measures in place to prevent crowding. Dining-in is now prohibited at any restaurant inside or outside shopping malls within dark red provinces under the strictest controls against COVID-19.