SINGAPORE – A generous boss of an Indian Muslim restaurant Singapore Zam Zam saved for three years to take 27 of his staff to Makkah for their first Umrah, to repay them for their years of hard work with the company.
“We do this for our workers because they’ve worked very long and very hard for us,” Zackeer Khan, who has been manager at Zam Zam for almost six years, told The Straits Times on Thursday.
The company paid for the 28 travelers’ visas, tickets and hotel accommodation for nine days.
The restaurant was closed for 10 days from June 19 to June 28 as most of its staff had gone for the pilgrimage during the last days of Ramadan, and reopened on Thursday (June 29) to welcoming customers.
Employees, ranging from 20s to 60s, have worked for the company, founded in 1908, for five to 30 years, Khan said.
“The workers, they all cried and were very happy,” he added.
The restaurant reopened on Thursday and customers were happy to see them, he added.
“When we were gone, our customers were messaging us, saying they miss our food,” he said with a laugh.
“Actually we did not (publicize it on Facebook) to let people know that we’re very great, we just put the notice because we didn’t want people from Johor and Tuas to come all the way and see that our shop was closed.”
An employee who has worked at Zam Zam for seven years, 30-year-old Navas Koleth, said he felt blessed.
“We are like a family. It was really nice to be there, it was our dream. Our restaurant usually does not close and it’s really difficult to get off days during Ramadan because we’re so busy, so it was really surprising when my boss said he’s going to umrah and said anyone who wants to come along can come,” he said.