JOHOR BARU: Business at some eateries has picked up since the no-smoking ruling took effect on Jan 1 while some have lost their customers.
Norizah Ismail, who operates Gerai Norizah at Anjung Selera Jotic next to the Johor Baru Court building, said her daily takings dipped drastically in January and February but was better now.
“Business was bad for most of us here in the first two months since the ruling but it is now starting to pick up slowly,’’ she said.
Norizah said there was a 50% drop in earnings for her in the first two months but it had since improved.
She said while smokers were taking time to adjust and change their habits, some regular customers, especially women, were happy as they did not have to put up with the smoke while eating.
A coffeeshop operator in Taman Bukit Indah, who only wanted to be known as Chong Ah, said following the ruling more customers with children were patronising his shop.
He said his regular customers, with a majority being smokers, still came to have coffee or tea but not as often as before.
Johor Indian Muslim Entrepreneurs Association (Perusim) secretary Hussein Ibrahim said business was down between 30% and 40% at 24-hour Indian Muslim restaurants.
“About 30% of our 338 restaurant operators stopped selling cigarettes since the beginning of this year as they did not want to take any risks,’’ he said.
Hussein said many football fans used to come to their eateries to watch matches but with smoking now not allowed, the number had reduced.
Meanwhile, he urged the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to take stern action against cybertroopers who uploaded videos of customers smoking at the restaurants.
“These are actually old videos of smokers at the outlets, all taken before the ruling started.
“Posting them now is affecting the restaurant operators and is not fair to them,” he said.
Presently, Perusim has about 300 members, with most of them operating Indian Muslim restaurants, sundry shops, trading companies and money-changing businesses.
Did you find this article insightful?