Pan Malaysia Koo Soo Restaurants and Chefs Association has warned Malaysians that they may receive smaller portions being served as prices of raw food and other goods have seen a steep hike.
According to The Star, its vice-president Datuk Ringo Kaw said some operators may either reduce the amount of ingredients or serve smaller portions.
“Essentially, reducing food portions is an increase of food price because even with smaller portions, consumers still have to pay the same (price),” Ringo said, adding that some restaurateurs had no other choice to keep their customers.
Kaw also said food operators had been struggling to cope with the price hikes as the country was still recovering from the devastating impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He revealed that prices of poultry had increased by 20%, as well as a 35% additional cost for non-food materials such as plastic bags, sanitising equipment and other overhead costs.
“Both operators and consumers are struggling and need to survive during these difficult times.
“I just hope everyone, including the consumers, understand the situation restaurant owners are facing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said their members will be keeping their food affordable, especially for those in the lower-income (B40) bracket.
He added that if price increase were necessary, they would make sure that it would be minimal to avoid burdening consumers.
“We are doing our part to help Malaysians during this hard time,” he said.
He also said customers have the right to pick and choose to eat at restaurants that are already imposing higher prices, adding that the higher rental costs have contribute to the increase in food prices.
“Those restaurant operators are doing so probably because the operating costs are higher compared to others.
“The price of a piece of roti canai might be RM1.50 in the suburbs but it could be more (expensive) in the cities,” Jawahar Ali said while urging consumers to lodge a complaint to the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs if they find restaurants imposing exorbitant prices.
He also said that the more pressing issue faced by members of Presma were labour shortages.
“Locals are not interested to work in the food sector while foreign workers have yet to be allowed to enter the country.
“Even if restaurants are allowed to operate for 24 hours again, most owners will probably opt out as it will add to higher overhead costs and with a lower volume of customers,” he said.