JOHOR BARU: Only a small number of food and beverage operators have increased prices as many business owners do not want to burden customers with a price hike.

Johor Baru Small Businesses Association chairman Tey Tian Hwang said many hawkers and restaurant operators had not raised their prices as they understood that consumers were also facing a tight financial state due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The food and beverage industry is actually facing a dilemma as the prices of raw ingredients such as cooking oil, sauces, condensed milk and certain vegetables have gone up.

“Some traders have no choice but to increase the prices of their food to cover their operating cost, while others choose to reduce the portions served or replace certain ingredients with a cheaper alternative in order to maintain their prices.

“The reasonable price increase is 10 sen or 20 sen (for coffee shops) and should not be too much as to burden consumers, who can always choose to frequent other stalls or shops with more competitive prices,” he said when interviewed.

Tey is hopeful that the reopening of the Malaysia-Singapore land border will help local businesses thrive once again.

Johor Baru Coffee, Restaurant and Bar Operators Association chairman Tiong Kiu Wong said food operators usually increased their prices by not more than 10%.

“The price increase is not done just for fun but to keep their business alive. These businesses have taken a huge blow since last year because of the pandemic and many restaurants and cafes have shuttered,” he said.

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