Eatery owners hope to sustain Menu Rahmah

Hussein says some restaurant owners who want to provide the budget-friendly meals are worried that they cannot sustain it.

RESTAURANT owners in Johor offering the budget-friendly Menu Rahmah are keen to continue providing the RM5 meals.

They are hopeful that the price of goods will not see a steep hike in the months to come.

However, they said that the sustainability of the initiative would depend on the price of goods, rent and other costs that could be burdensome for businesses that were still in the midst of recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fairus Hamzah, 35, who owns a nasi kandar restaurant in Pasir Gudang said he was still able to cover the cost of the meals.

“I started offering the Menu Rahmah meals about two weeks ago and each day, I limit it to 100 sets. Some days, I exceed that number if there are more requests for the meals.

“For now, I am able to get a profit of less than RM1 for each Menu Rahmah set. It is an initiative to help people anyway, and I do not expect any profits as long as I have enough to cover the cost of the meals.

“However, the sustainability of the initiative will depend on the price of raw materials. The higher it gets, the more difficult it will be for me to continue providing the meals,” he told StarMetro.

He added that the majority of his customers were factory workers and students from learning institutions nearby.

“On average, I receive about 80 Menu Rahmah orders every day. For now, I have no plans to limit the number of the set meals a customer can order at one time,” said Fairus.

“The meals I offer, which is rice with vegetables, fried chicken, gravy of choice, and plain water, are available to everyone, including foreigners,” he said.

Another restaurant owner, Zaid Harithah Zainuladin, 32, said he would try to offer the meals for three months before deciding on whether to continue.

“For a start, I am only offering 50 plates of the Menu Rahmah daily but if things go well, I will consider increasing it to 100.

“We will see how things go in the next two to three months. For now, most restaurants are still in a Menu Rahmah trial phase,” he said.

Johor Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) committee member Hussein Ibrahim said,“Some restaurants want to carry out the initiative but are worried about getting complaints if the portions they provide are too small.

“With the rise in the price of chicken, restaurants might have to give smaller portions and this could cause dissatisfaction that might lead to the eatery being shamed on social media.

“It is also more challenging for restaurants in town to provide the menu as rental at such areas are significantly higher.

“Nonetheless, there are many restaurants that have taken up the initiative and are keen to continue providing the meals.

“It is important they know this is not a compulsory programme,” he said, noting that there was a small number of restaurant owners who were under the impression that it was compulsory to offer the Menu Rahmah.

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