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Beachside food court coming to Patong

January 21, 2010

PATONG, PHUKET: Ocean Plaza Patong is investing 30-million-baht to build a rooftop food court that is set to open by the end of the month on the beach road in Patong.

The center, to be named @Beach Food Loft, will be the first and only dining facility in Patong to offer customers inexpensive fare with ocean views, its developers say.

Explaining the concept, Ocean Plaza Patong Managing Director Wattanan Sienghen said, “We noticed that there were no inexpensive dining options along the beach road, where many restaurants are located on resort grounds. So, we thought we should offer cheap, good-quality food to help both Thais and foreigners save money.”

In Thailand, food and beverage outlets in hotels must add a 10% service charge to the bill, which is then subject to a 7% value added tax. High land rental costs and other factors also drive up costs across the board in Patong, making many services there more expensive than in other parts of the island.

When completed, @Beach Food Loft will comprise ten booths selling main dishes starting at 35 baht, six booths offering desserts and snacks, and two beverage counters serving soft drinks, beer and other refreshments.

The 160-seat facility, to cover 800 square meters, will be divided into an air-conditioned indoor area and an outdoor dining area, from which customers will be able to enjoy views of the beach while dining.

Operators will include well-known national chains selling a variety of cuisines including Thai, Chinese, Indian and ‘international’ fare, he said.

“People will no longer have to travel to Banzaan Market or into Phuket Town to enjoy high-quality, low-cost food. This will help them save fuel and time,” he said.

Foreigners currently make up about 90% of the customer base at Ocean Plaza Patong, the basement supermarket of which was badly damaged by the 2004 tsunami.

“After the food center opens with its inexpensive prices, I expect many more Thai tourists, workers and business owners to come and enjoy our services,” he said.

To entice new Thai customers, @Beach Food Loft will offer a 50-baht discount on its 500 baht purchase card, which will be valid for one week after purchase. The offer is restricted to Thai nationals.

Mr Wattanan also hopes to attract diners from other parts of the island to the food court.

“Don’t worry about paying too much for food. You will pay less here for sure,” he said.

The food court is scheduled to open on January 27. The outside of the mall is also being renovated as part of the current work.

Ocean Plaza Patong also plans a mid-year renovation of its second floor into a mini ‘outlet mall’ offering 30% to 70% discounts.

Source:http://www.phuketgazette.net/news/detail.asp?id=8264

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