Police have allowed restaurants in the capital to sell iftar items from yesterday in line with the government's decision to gradually reopen economic activities.
But, only a few restaurants managed to be in the business on the first day, mainly due to a lack of preparation, while a low demand remains a concern among restaurant owners.
Over 90 percent of the restaurant shutters were pulled off.
Welcoming the government's decision, a number of restaurant owners told The Business Standard that during a month of complete shutdown, most of their workers have moved to their respective villages. That is why they are now trying to mobilise only who stay nearby.
Old Dhaka's Razzaq Hotel is one of them, while its nearby Al-Nasir Sweetmeat and Bakery, a popular iftar seller, has begun sales on a limited scale.
Abdul Aziz, manager of Al-Nasir, said they prepared one-third of their traditional iftar items at one-fourth volume and around half of those were sold until 4:30 pm.
Lack of mobility coupled with no daily life activities is the reason behind such a low sale, he said, adding, "People will be better informed tomorrow (Wednesday) and will come to buy iftar. "
The famous iftar bazar at Old Dhaka's Chawkbazar is yet to be allowed to operate.
Some restaurants opened their shutters to prepare for the next day.
Kamrul Hasan Chowdhury, owner of NawabiVoj at Bailey Road, was found at his Baily Road outlet at 3.30 pm sanitising the entire facility with the help of some returnee staff.
"We will begin from tomorrow [Wednesday] and do everything to comply with health safety guidelines," he said seeking customers' cooperation.
Daily sale at each of his restaurants was Tk1-3 lakh before the shutdown. His three outlets lost over Tk1 crore in revenues in the last one month.
He is not confident about the demand coming back too soon.
Yesterday's limited scale iftar bazaar was mainly concentrated in small bakeries and iftar stalls of residential areas.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police has also extended the grocery shopping hour in residential areas up to 4.00 pm from 2.00 pm.