Eateries not raising prices to encourage clients to return

PETALING JAYA: Apart from ensuring that the standard operating procedure (SOP) is adhered to, restaurant associations are ensuring that its members are not raising prices indiscriminately.

Malaysia Singapore Coffeeshop Proprietors’ General Association president Datuk Ho Su Mong said prices were being maintained to encourage customers to return for dine-ins.

“We are not increasing the prices of our food and drinks, even though our members have to pay for additional things now.

“We are also making sure that our places are safe. We have to keep the premises clean and let them (customers) see that we are practising social distancing,” Ho said, adding that these measures were necessary to gain customers’ confidence.

“With that, we hope customers will come back. This is because seeing is believing.

“We have to show that we are taking great lengths to keep the place safe. It is our duty to let them know that we are doing our very best,” he said.

Agreeing with Ho, Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association president Muthusamy Thirumeni said food prices would be maintained for the time being as they understood the burden the people were facing due to Covid-19.

“With the new SOP in place, our operating cost has certainly gone up. But for now, we have to sacrifice – the customer is more important. When things become normal again and the crowd is back, perhaps these aspects can be reviewed,” he said.

Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan reassured customers that all their members were following the government’s SOP strictly to ensure public safety.

“We want to make sure that it is safe for our customers and employees.

“We are not only concerned about making profits. We don’t want the pandemic to come back and make things worse,” he said, adding that they had temperature checks, hand sanitisers and wash basins for customers to wash their hands.

Jawahar also hoped that the government would consider allowing people from the same family to dine at the same table.

He explained that their restaurants currently only allowed two persons per table, resulting in families with four to five persons unable to sit together – a situation that sometimes causes friction between customers and restaurant employees.

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