Dubai: Pakistani restaurant chain Ravi is in a dire financial situation but the popular eatery is not for sale and all will be done to keep the business afloat, its managing director confirmed to Gulf News on Sunday.
“For the love of our customers who have come to us and enjoyed our food, and to a country which turned my father from a worker to a restaurateur, we will do all that we can to keep it running,” said managing director Waheed Abdul Hameed, the son of Chaudary Abdul Hameed, who started the business back in 1978.
Like all Dubai restaurants Ravi closed its doors during the 24 hour sterilisation programme and has only just reopened after Ramadan at reduced capacity.
“In accordance with government regulations, we opened one of the branches for dine-in (at 30 per cent capacity). The numbers are improving, yet our account books are far from looking good,” said Waheed.
“We are doing everything we can to keep the restaurant up and running. We are selling our assets for this. I have to pay my creditors. I have been forced to slash salaries by 50 per cent too. While I don’t want to let go of them, some of my staff want to return home. It is a difficult situation. But we will bounce back for sure,” he said.
“Our delivery business alone will not keep our restaurant running. Dine-in has to start full swing else we will not be able to cover salaries of more than seventy staff members besides dealing with other expenses,” he added.
He said the biggest expense has been rent.
Asked why the family wants to keep the restaurant, he added, “It is our bread and butter. Ravi restaurant transformed my father from a blue collar worker to a restaurateur. The love of people who flocked to our restaurant for our authentic Pakistani cuisine cannot be forgotten. The land and people of UAE showered their love on my father, we cannot leave it and go just like that. We are here to fight the situation in the right possible way,” he added