MARCH: Restaurant will stop selling alcohol - but take your own if you like....
By TOM JACKSON ALCOHOL will disappear from the menus of a tandoori restaurant next month, in a businessman s bid to attract more customers through the credit crunch. From September 1 anyone wanting to drink alcohol while enjoying a meal at Shah Jahan, in
By TOM JACKSON
ALCOHOL will disappear from the menus of a tandoori restaurant next month, in a businessman's bid to attract more customers through the credit crunch.
From September 1 anyone wanting to drink alcohol while enjoying a meal at Shah Jahan, in March, will need to take their own to the restaurant.
On offer instead will be a range of fizzy drinks, energy drinks and Asian yogurt drinks to savour alongside meals.
The bold move by restaurant owner Shafik Ali comes as businesses feel the effects of people spending less during the present economic downturn.
Mr Ali said: "People seem to be worrying about going out because alcohol is expensive in restaurants. By doing this, a night out will be cheaper and I will hopefully get more customers through the door.
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"Alcohol is so much cheaper in the shops. For example, a bottle of my house wine is £7.95, but you can pick up a similar bottle of wine from a supermarket for about £3.70.
"I don't know how many people are going to stop coming to my restaurant and how many more people will come. I know it will be very, very hard for me at first but I will find a way through it.
"But if someone wants to bring their own alcohol to eat with their meal they can - and we will provide a glass."
Mr Ali, who has run the Dartford Road restaurant for 15 years, also hopes his move will persuade customers to avoid the perils of drink-driving.
"By doing this people will be able to bring their own cars and park nearby," he said. "It stops people worrying about drink-driving laws and having to book a taxi."
The premises licence will not be changed, however, making it possible to reintroduce alcohol in the future. Takeaways, deliveries and playing music in the restaurant are also unaffected.