Thaniwan Kulamongkhol, president of the Thai Restaurant Association, said the government’s decision to allow restaurants to remain open during the New Year break was a significant factor in revitalising the restaurant industry.
Another factor was street vendors and hawkers who closed their shops, which made restaurants more attractive for diners during the holidays.
Thaniwan said the data also indicated that Thais were not overly concerned about the Omicron coronavirus variant, believing dining out at restaurants to still be safe if precautions are taken, such as wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. The New Year is a time for people to let off some steam after working hard all year, especially under stringent COVID-19 restrictions, she said.
Thaniwan acknowledged that while the higher numbers are good for the industry, public safety could be jeopardised if restaurant owners do not strictly follow disease control measures.
She also expressed concern over whether sales would see a drop off if the COVID situation becomes more serious.