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Friday, 14 February 2014

CNY price hikes stay for good

IT’S almost two weeks since the Chinese New Year weekend but some coffee shops which typically raise their drink prices over the holiday period have made these hikes permanent.

They have cited a number of reasons ranging from increased staff wages to rental costs and prices of food items such as coffee powder, sugar and milk.

A check with 27 coffee shop operators and drink stall owners showed that eight had raised prices of their coffee and tea beverages by about 10 (26 sen) to 20 cents (52 sen) a cup.

Their stalls were located in areas such as Queenstown, Bedok, Tampines, Raffles Place, Ang Mo Kio and Bishan.

At the Golden Shoe Market in Raffles Place, a cup of coffee from Sunrise Traditional Coffee and Toast’s stall now costs S$1 (RM2.60), up by 10 cents from before.

Owner Teo Saiew Lim, 49, said he raised his prices just after the festive period when his supplier notified him that the cost of condensed milk had gone up.

He put up a sign and reprinted his menu to notify customers of the new prices, he added.

Tony Lee, 64, who runs a drink stall at Bedok Central Food Centre said he upped his prices of coffee and tea drinks by 10 cents late last year.

This was to cover increased costs of cleaning services – which went up from S$200 (RM520) to S$250 (RM650) a month late last year – as well as coffee powder.

A 9kg tin of coffee powder used to cost about S$40 (RM104) but recently went up to S$75 (RM195), he added.

Meanwhile, other drink stalls, such as one at Mei Ling Market and Food Centre in Queens­town and another at Pek Kio Market and Food Centre in Owen Road, said they had chosen to absorb the higher costs for now.

Rental and labour costs have risen by about 10% in the past year. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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