As the month of Ramadan draws to an end, some restaurant owners and food vendors in Kano have shared their experiences on how they have been coping to ensure the survival of the business during the holy month.
Many restaurants in the state have shut down while others work only at night as people engage in fasting during the daytime.
Before the commencement of the fasting season, it was observed that many restaurants attracted a lot of sales during lunch and breakfast.
Kano/Jigawa Chronicle observed that very few restaurants prepare meals for dinner along major streets of the state capital like Zoo road, Nasarawa GRA, and some parts of Katsina road.
While restaurants and food vendors that operate in markets, agencies and other private organisations in the metropolis have been closed since the workers break their fast at home.
During visits to some of the restaurants, many were found locked during the daytime with very few preparing dinner and Iftar.
In one of the popular restaurants in Zoo road, ‘Shabaan Restaurant’, though it was found open, only few staff members were seen inside and normal activities have stopped despite being a busy place during days outside the fasting period.
“The way we are making sales during normal time is entirely different from the Ramadan period. Our sales have drastically dropped by almost 80 percent. During the normal time, we used to start our work by 8:00am to 1:00am. But during fasting we start from around 5:00pm,” Yahaya Abubakar, a cashier in the restaurant, said.
Even though the eatery remains open to the time of Sahur (dawn meal) during Ramadan, that could not cover the drop in the sales, Abubakar stated, adding that, “Only people who have nowhere to break their fast patronise us now and fewer people during Sahur.”
According to him, almost half of their workers were directed to take compulsory leave during the month since there was no much work to do in the restaurant, and that out of the 25 workers, only 12 were working at the moment.
In Chikenza Restaurant, one of the popular food joints in the state, our reporter observed that customers also have deserted the place.
The manager of the restaurant, Yusuf Sulaiman, said even though the situation had become a routine every year, this time around the sale dropped by over 70 percent and that their staff were working on shift.
“We always used to prepare for the coming of Ramadan since it’s a yearly event. Part of what we do this year is to divide the staff into two. One group will work today and the other will work the following day since there is no much work,” he said.
However, the manager said during the weekends, they attract few sales during the daytime from christians who often visit the place for relaxation.
For Mama Ajoke, who runs a local restaurant in Kurna, the fasting period is like an annual leave since the restaurant is forced to close during the period.
“Many of our customers are residents of this area and mostly buy lunch from us, so we don’t even sell food in the evening. One of the things I do during the year is to plan ahead and make savings for the coming of this holy month,” she said.
Another staff member of a local restaurant along Kabuga, Kabiru Alasan, said he usually hawks dates and apples on the road during Ramadan since the restaurant does not operate during the period.