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aws全区号(www.2km.me)_‘Food businesses can no longer absorb high costs’

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Paying the price: This eatery in Taman Saujana Utama, Sungai Buloh, is among many food businesses that are concerned about losing customers if they are forced to increase prices of food and drinks. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

FOOD business operators are in a dilemma over whether to increase their food prices following the hike in prices of goods.

Some operators have increased the prices of dishes by up to 50sen on average, while others are contemplating doing so.

The prices of items have increased slowly in the past couple of months, said Mohd Rizal Othman, a food stall operator from Ampang, Selangor.

He said food businesses had to balance costlier raw ingredients while meeting customers’ demand for low prices.Some operators choose to increase price of drinks instead of food. — Photos: SHAARI CHE MAT and AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

“Many tried absorbing the extra costs but the drastic increase in prices of goods last month was too much to bear.

“I run two food stalls in Ampang and the prices of ingredients, especially chicken and lamb, have gone up so much.

“I had no choice but to increase prices by between 50sen and RM1 beginning Nov 29.

“My regular customers are aware of the increase and are not too happy, but they accept the reality as they know the prices of many items have gone up.

“On our part, we apologise to customers and ask for their understanding.Food traders say when suppliers sell at high prices, they have no choice but to increase their prices and bear the brunt of customers’ anger.

“Some of our customers also place orders via text message.

So, we have to send them the menu with the revised pricing and apologise,” he said.

Mohd Rizal said petty traders in the food business were finding it hard to make ends meet.

“We have been on ‘survival mode’ since the Covid-19 pandemic started, which caused a halt in business besides stiff competition.

“Our profit margin was already very low and a price hike was unavoidable,” he added.The Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association has urged its members to maintain their prices until year end.

A mixed rice seller at a commercial centre in Taman Saujana Utama, Sungai Buloh in Selangor, who did not want to be named, said she had increased the price of her drinks by 30sen.

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