|code: 261383||Date: 2011/08/23||source: onislam|
Dearborn Businesses Adjust To Ramadan
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Affected by the change of habits of Muslims during the fasting month of Ramadan, different businesses are adjusting their working hours and offers to accommodate its large Muslim community.
“During Ramadan, we see many new faces. The lines are longer and the parking lot is always full,” Ali Berry, manager of Eastborn Fruit Market, told Dearborn Press & Guide website on Sunday, August 21.
“Customers walk out with full carts and the parents drag their sons and daughters to help them get their produce and groceries faster.”
Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, started on Monday, August 1, in the United States.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
To accommodate the change of eating habits, some businesses, including Eastborn fruit market, make a few changes during the month of Ramadan.
“All workers, those who do and do not fast, get to enjoy a well-prepared meal by Byblos Banquet Hall for 30 days paid for by the owner,” Berry said.
“Many of the workers, surprisingly, would choose to eat at the fruit market rather than eat at home.”
Other businesses change their working hours to meet the demands of Muslims who stay late at night to get a pre-dawn suhoor meal.
Mango’s Café, on Warren Avenue, is one of many in Dearborn that become a hot spot during this month for Muslim social gatherings.
“Our days our dead but our evenings make up for it,” said Mohamad Fahs, son of the owner.
He said the business stays economically viable due to the peak of customers they have between the hours of 2 am and 4 am.
Even more, Mangos Café prepare special meals for Muslims during Ramadan nights.
“We have a special Ramadan menu every year that contains zaatar (an oregano based spice placed on top of bread) and Allita (type of bread with cheese and tomatoes),” Fahs says.
“We also like to play Arabic soap operas every night at 10 p.m. for people to sit and watch.”
As Ramadan knocks the doors in Dearborn every year, some businesses achieve sales increase, while others may decrease.
“Restaurants and food type businesses typically take the hardest hit, however grocery stores and specialty food stores often see an increase during this month as families prepare fresh meals each day in order to break their fast in the evening hours,” said Amal Berry-Brown, Dearborn resident and Comerica Bank executive.
Unlike restaurants, other businesses wait for Ramadan every year to achieve a sales boost.
“Although some restaurants take a hit, some banquet halls accommodate Muslim dietary restrictions and will often increase their business by holding Iftar dinner or catering,” Berry-Brown said,
Ramadan challenge is not only for businesses.
Muslims workers too might find it challenging to Muslim workers dealing with customers in markets or so during day fasting hours.
“The hard part about Ramadan is that we cannot have any water or food from sun-rise to sunset,” Hassen Berry, Eastborn worker, said.
“The hardest part about working during Ramadan is that we have to deal with the heat outside which drains our energy even more. But in the end it’s all worth it.”
Comerica’s Berry-Brown says patience is a key factor to keep a business alive during this month.
“Be patient with customers and employees who may be Muslim and are fasting. Remember, fasting for 16 hours can be very difficult for some,” she said.
“Those who are fasting may be functioning at a slower pace and may be experiencing sleep deprivation.”
End item/ 149