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.
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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.