For Bangkok’s restaurant owners, the release published by The Royal Gazette, the Thai government’s public newspaper, just past midnight on Sunday, June 27, was like a sharp turn back towards a cliff. Dine-in restrictions have been reinstated in Bangkok and, this time around, will last for at least a month.
The city’s many food businesses are on the brink of falling apart, following several hastily announced lockdowns in the last few months. A few restaurants across Bangkok, from those with Michelin stars to the neighborhood eateries that line your soi, have decided to shut down for good, mainly because they can’t rely on takeout or delivery for survival. These food operations probably wouldn’t have minded closing for a spell had they gotten some form of government subsidy. But there was no such thing.
With the return of the dine-in ban, the war between restaurants and delivery platforms regarding commissions will surely resurface. Despite servicing more customers, these delivery platforms are also dealing with losses and more competition. So this dispute may just turn into a negative-sum game—no one wins.
Without enough support from the government, small restaurants and cafés need you now more than ever. It’s your direct support that will allow them to keep their heads above water during these unpleasant times. Keep things local and try ordering food from the businesses in your neighborhood. Order direct and let them handle the delivery to make sure they get all the money. If you can, pick up the food yourself.
If a delivery platform is your only option, ordering from a nearby joint means smaller delivery fees for you. For riders, it means a quicker turnaround and more commission. So the next time you’re about to make an order via a delivery platform, make sure to turn on the distance filter on your search.
We at Time Out encourage you to support your local neighborhood food and drink businesses more. It’s one of the few ways you can help them survive. To make things easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best food venues in each ’hood that are offering takeout and delivery services. Who knows, your new favorite restaurant may just be around the corner from where you live. And don’t just do this for the one-month dine-in ban. These restaurants will need your continuous support when they fully reopen.