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Economic Impact Of Bangkok Alcohol Ban

Translate of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the alcohol ban in Bangkok specifically which is ending. Since basically the first of 2021, there was this do called second wave and we have had to deal with a number of restrictions being re-imposed here in Bangkok as well as other provinces. Certainly Bangkok was not the worst hit. Other provinces were less hit. For example Chonburi had an initial really serious lockdown and then they eased up and things are not quite as bad as they were right at the beginning. 

The long story short and the reason for this video is just to look at the economic impact of the alcohol ban. This isn't a video being made to "we just want to party", No. I am hoping, well first I hope we don't ever have to deal with one of these situations again, but I am hoping that if it happens again perhaps people will take a more nuanced approach and look at this situation from the standpoint more of the business folks that have had to endure this. We have a number of clients who are in the F&B business, restaurants, bar and grill kind of thing and this alcohol ban, it has been, there is really no other word for it, it has been devastating. In some cases it has resulted in the closure of businesses and in a lot of cases the people that have managed to slide out of this here at the end of this ban, my thoughts and my heart have been with him just watching them slog through this. It is a different dining experience not being able to have a glass of wine. It is a different dining experience not being able to have a beer. It is a different dining experience not being able to have a glass of champagne. Now I am sure policy makers and regulators, their hearts are in the right place but it doesn't help making these blanket decrees that can have just such a massive impact economically on people who are just trying to make a living. Let's also be clear. The food and beverage business in my opinion to make a living at that, just watching that from the outside, in my capacity providing legal service trying to assist folks with their visas, especially foreigners working in the F&B world here, or ownership of F&B businesses , it is a tough business. Amarillo Slim once said "being a professional gambler, it is the hardest way to earn an easy buck." A lot of people think the restaurant business is easy and a lot of people think "Oh, you can just get into it, I can flip burgers, I can serve people some Pad Thai. How hard is it?" Well it is pretty hard. I have seen it from the back end; I haven't done it. I don't have it in me candidly. I don't have the fortitude that many of my clients that are in those businesses have. 

In a recent article from Khao Sod English, that is, the article is titled: Bangkok Ban on Booze in Restaurants Lifted, Bars Reopened. I am not really making this video to talk about it being lifted. I am more making this video to just talk about the economic impact of this in hindsight so that maybe in the future we can at the very least treat this with the gravity it deserves because this is a real issue. Quoting directly: "The impact is believed to be devastating for many businesses in Bangkok who were already left struggling in the pandemic throughout 2020." They get into a lot in that article. Again Khao Sod English: Bangkok Ban on Booze in Restaurants Lifted, Bars Re-opened. There is a lot going on in there. I was reading it and I just thought about making this video. 

Maybe I am going off on a little bit more of a tangent than the article did. I just hope, when the first lockdown came, a lot of the F&B businesses that were clients of the firm's that we have assisted for years in some cases, they kind of kept calm and carried on for lack of a better term. The second wave thing at the beginning of the year, I would almost argue in many ways this hit them harder because they had to go through all the expense of getting things back reopened, getting back on their feet only to have their knees cut-out from under them again.

I am not saying that Government or anyone else is doing that intentionally. Again everybody is just reacting trying to do the best at they can. But I hope that this will cause a little bit more reflection in the future in imposing these policies especially in a blanket manner on a place as populous as Bangkok just going forward because I really don't think that this issue has been given the credit it deserves. This has had a tremendous impact on a lot of SMEs in Thailand and it has knock on impact on the greater economy as a whole.