Last-Minute MECQ Wastes Restaurants' Dine-In Preparations

So much meat, with not enough customers.
Photo/s: Unsplash

The last-minute decision to prolong the MECQ in Metro Manila instead of shift to a lower quarantine meant that the preparations of some food and beverage businessmen for dine-in operations went to waste. One samgyupsal restaurateur shared and her story on Facebook and an outpouring of empathy followed.

Had the MECQ been lowered to GCQ with granular lockdowns on Wednesday, restaurants would be allowed 20% capacity for  indoor dining and 50% for outdoor dining. By the end of the MECQ extension on Sept. 15, all forms of dine-in would have been banned for one month and a half. 

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Vikings Luxury Buffet - SM Megamall on Wednesday shared the sentiments of Inchang Mendoza, who aired frustration on social media after purchasing kilos upon kilos of meat for samgyupsal only to tell staff members they would have to wait another week before reopening.

"This is real. This is us. All the excitement and preparation done to welcome you all back, yet have to be contained once again because of the last minute announcement and change of plans," Vikings said on Facebook, resharing Mendoza's post.

"There’s nothing we can do but to wait and wish that we all keep and stay safe until we see each other again. To better days ahead!"

Mendoza's post on Tuesday night garnered more than 46,000 Facebook shares in 15 hours. There, she told the government: "maawa naman kayo sa mga taong sobrang naapektuhan n nag tratrabaho ng maayos!"

Hindi kayang sumurvive ng small business owner sa ganyang eksena ng gobyerno!!! Bigyan niyo kami ng maayos na plano!! Hindi lang physical health naaapektuhan sa amin, pati na rin mental health!!!"

Mendoza's earlier post showed 27 Inchangyeopsal staff members were affected by the last-minute postponement.

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Netizens empathized restaurant employees and other workers whose livelihoods were set back by sudden changes in quarantine restrictions.

Former basketball player Doug Kramer, who also saw Mendoza's post, took to Instagram to express his disappointment.

"Restaurants and other businesses have bought supplies getting ready for GCQ, to earn a little more in this pandemic. Shoots have been scheduled. Locations have been booked. All cancelled again. More money lost. More money wasted. Terrible," he said.

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