Kopitiam depending on regular clients nowadays


Staying afloat: Customers picking up their take away orders at one of the coffee shop at Bagan Luar in Butterworth. Shops in the area have reported a drop in business since the beginning of the MCO this week. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

BUTTERWORTH: These days, Lim Shin Yi depends on faithful patrons to order breakfast from her coffeeshop.

“Luckily for us, there are regular customers as our family business has been around for five decades, ” said Lim, 36.

“Our food is reasonably priced but partnering with a delivery service operator is not feasible.

“We offer takeaway. Customers will come and collect their order, ” she said.

“Sandwiches and coffee are available for takeaway, but not half-boiled eggs and toast as these are best eaten fresh, ” she said.

Her shop, which is near Butterworth Art Walk, is a usual breakfast joint for many who travel to the island. The eatery serves local coffee, sandwiches and a breakfast fare.

But now, due to travel restrictions, the third generation operator estimates that business has dropped by 80%.

“This is the new normal. We understand the need for the MCO, ” she said.

The Butterworth Art Walk, known among tourists for its murals, has seen fewer visitors due to the MCO.

“This area is popular during weekends and school holidays as people come to check out the murals and patronise our shop, ” said an economy rice operator who declined to be named.

“Now, people are afraid. Only those living in this area would come to pack rice and dishes. But no one ‘tapau’ coffee or any drinks, ” she said.

She said there had not been many customers these past few days.

“We are testing the water. If no one comes in the next few days, we will close our shop until the MCO is lifted, ” she said.

Going by her observation, she said that “things have changed since the first MCO”.

“Now people cook at home and are cutting cost.

“Our business picked up once the first MCO was lifted as there are offices nearby, but now they are closed again, ” she said.

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