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News & Views


Brick Lane restaurants lose licenses over touting


Tower Hamlets Council has promised to take action after residents com- plained they were being constantly stopped by touts. Indeed the Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman has recently vowed to stop touts “spoiling” Brick Lane.


In the past few months four restau- rants found to be breaking the rules have had their licenses suspended for between two weeks and three months. The worst offender was Cinnamon res- taurant which will not get its full trad- ing license back until May this year. Nazrul restaurant has been handed a one month suspension, Preem and Prithi restaurant was closed for two weeks and Mango for one week.


All of them have also been banned from touting for business in future. Owners could be fined up to £20,000 or get six months in prison if they disobey the orders.


The initiative is important as the res- taurant business in Brick Lane, and


Spice Business Magazine


Tower Hamlets generally, gears up to accommodate an influx of visitors in 2012. The Olympics are a big oppor- tunity for the trade, but if it is found to be acting in an unprofessional way this could deter visitors, some experts worry.


Salim Rashid, Member of The Guild of Bangladeshi Restaurateurs says,”Tower Hamlets is doing a good job to maintain the positive image of Brick Lane and its restaurants and take-aways, but the problem of touts raises the question - how ready are we to welcome the world in 2012? It is not just a matter of the image we project but also the need to have the staff and skills to cope.”


Salim agrees,”This is a once in a gen- eration opportunity and it would be a shame if Brick Lane and its many res- taurants was not able to fully benefit. Businesses have to ask themselves - are we fully prepared? If the answer is no then they have to take appropri- ate action. This includes marketing in


24 March 2011


a professional manner without using touts.”


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