Penang Hotels Survive the MCO In 2021
Penang Hotels survive by thinking of ways to generate revenue by selling affordable meals in George Town, Penang.
For many Malaysians, the 2020 lockdown has been hard.
Many have lost a job, made redundant from the company or barely surviving with a pay cut (not hours) of us to 40% or more.
The strict SOP implemented by the Malaysian government has kept the number of Covid-19 cases down.
However, with MCO and strict SOPs in place, many businesses are affected.
Some age-old, traditional eateries like the iconic Teowchew Squat Porridge stall has closed down one by one in Penang.
Penangites have taken this in their stride, shake their heads with an “another one bites the dust” and soldier on.
Hospitality Industry Affected – Will Penang Hotels Survive
Malaysia’s hospitality industry has been battered by the Movement Control Order (MCO), which was first imposed in March last year to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Unprecedented Times – Sad and Difficult Decisions
Hotel Equatorial Penang is a 5-star hotel in Penang just less than 10 minutes from the Penang International Airport and only 20 minutes from George Town, listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site.
According to the Star, Hotel Equatorial Penang was the first five-star hotel in the south of Penang island when it opened more than three decades ago.
The hotel houses 413 guestrooms and suites and is able to accommodate up to 2,600 people for meetings and events.
The beautiful hotel adjacent to a golf course – Hotel Equatorial Penang will shut down operations by the end of March because of “adverse business conditions caused by COVID-19”
The Hotel Equatorial Penang memo to employees was widely circulated via WhatsApp groups was a shock to Penangites.
The strong heritage and name of Hotel Equatorial Penang is something the locals hold dear.
The last day the hotel will be open for business to the public has yet to be decided, but will be before Mar 31, it added.
Penang Hotels Suffer Huge Losses
Malaysians had hope for a brighter year in 2021- when the next period of MCO was announced, all behaved well albeit grudgingly accepted celebrations on a low key with stay home order.
With inter-district and inter state restriction for travel, Hotel occupancy in January dropped to “low 20 per cent” after the announcement of the MCO.
Cancellation of bookings was recorded across the country especially for the Chinese New Year period.
It was a quiet Year of the Ox for everyone as the hotel industry is expected to lose over RM300 million in revenues.
Tourism Predicament – Will Tourism Survive without Penang Hotels
The COVID-19 situation has caused tourism to a standstill.
Flight, Trains, Buses, Taxi, Local Tourist Guide and humble trishaw peddlers have lost their only source of income.
The number of visitors to theme parks, shopping malls, tourist attractions has dwindled down to a small number.
With people ordering food in, the only form of “amusement” and “relief” left was a quick dash to get groceries, the pharmacy and petrol.
How Do Penang Hotels Survive?
Penang hotels fight to survive as they have to sustain high overhead costs with almost zero occupancies.
To stay afloat many hotels have to come up with innovative ways to stay afloat.
In George Town, the city hotels changed gears quickly, one after another to operate hawker stalls.
You may have seen a hotel manager holding a manila card that reads RM3.00 ONLY.
Many hotel staff are seen to verbally promote their food by waving to motorists passing by the area.
Penang Hotels Survive With Affordable Breakfast Menu
Many hotels sell the food the cooked arranged in takeaway containers for affordable set meals, hawker fare and drinks.
From RM1 ‘Teh Tarik to RM8 set meals, Penang hotels go all-out to draw in customers.
Others keep the menu affordable at prices that start at RM3
The lunch menu rotates weekly and costs just a bit more.
- Nasi Lemak
- Nasi Goreng
- Chicken Rice
- Duck Rice
- Fried Bee Hoon
- Tomyam Bihun
- Fried Noodles
- Malay Kueh
Cititel Penang, Jen Hotel Penang and Golden Sands Resort have set up hawker stalls outside their premises to draw in the crowds.
Cititel Penang has the most variety with, several stalls lining the entrance offering local favourites with Teh Tarik, at only RM1 – the cheapest in town. The hotel is offering free ice lemon tea with each order.
- Penang Assam laksa
- Thai Lemak Laksa
- Char Koay Teow
- Kueh Mueh
- Spring Rolls
- Teh Tarik
Penang Hotels SOP
in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOPs), customer queues outside the hotel for their takeaway orders.
Some hotels arrange for easy pickup of food from their lobby.
Penang Hotels Survive by introducing special takeaway, “Tapao Sets” and delivery menu due to the low occupancy rate and current movement control order (MCO).
Some hotels have widened our delivery coverage from just around George Town to Bayan Lepas and Tanjung Bungah.
Many Penangites try to support the local hotels as much as possible as they are suffering during the MCO.
Some of the hotels offering special takeaway and delivery menus are:
George Town Hotels
Hotel Royal Penang
Daily breakfast from RM3 Nett
Local delicacies from RM5 onwards
Daily: 7.00 AM – 6.00 PM
Call or WhatsApp: 019-5566015
JEN Penang Georgetown by Shangri-La
Jen “Express Hot Meals On-The-Go” from RM6 onwards
Daily: 11.00 AM – 8.00 PM
The Wembley – A St Giles Hotel in Penang
“Executive Lunch Box” from RM12 onwards
Mondays-Fridays (11.00 AM – 3.00 PM)
Call: 04-259 8123
G Hotel Gurney
“Wok Stir-Fried Takeaways” at RM15 Nett
Daily from 9.30 AM – 7.30 PM
Call 04-238 0209 or WhatsApp 016-276 2188
Tg Bungah Hotel
DailyTakeaway : 10.00 AM – 6.00 PM (last call 5.30pm) on selected menu
Call: 04-371 8888 or 8706
Hompton Beach Hotel Penang
“Take Me Home Drive-Thru” from RM8 Nett onwards
Daily: 11.00 AM – 8.00 PM
Call: 04-373 3233
Bayan Lepas Hotel
Olive Tree Hotel Penang
“Olive on the Go” from RM11.90 onwards
Daily: 10.00 AM -7.00 PM
WhatsApp 019-559 7114 or go to olivetree.my to order online
Eastin Hotel Penang
“E 2 Go” from RM5 onwards
Daily: 11.00 AM – 7.00 PM
Call: 04-612 1128 / WhatsApp: 016-417 5531
Batu Ferringhi Hotel
Hard Rock Cafe Penang
Daily:12.00 PM – 10.00 PM
Call: 04 886 8050
Go to https://penang.hardrockhotels.net/dining-nightlife/hard-rock-cafe-penang/ to order online
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Penang
“Shangri-la Penang Specials” with hawker food from RM10 onwards
Daily:11.00 AM – 8.00 PM
Call: 04-888 8888
Go to https://www.shangri-la-penang-specials.com to order online