KUALA LUMPUR: Up to 60% of food and beverage operators in the country could be forced to shut permanently within the next two months should the dine-in ban continue, say F&B associations.
Restaurant and Bistro Owners Association media advisor Jeremy Lim, representing five other F&B groups, said about 500,000 jobs and livelihoods are at stake as operators had less than two months of cash flow left.
“A rough estimate of about 30% of some 200,000 food and beverage establishments have already shut down since the start of the pandemic.
“Many more have already suspended their operations, but may have no other option but close if the ban on dine-ins are not lifted,” he said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday (July 14).
He added that these numbers did not account for the ecosystem that supported F&B establishments such as farmers, fisheries, suppliers and distributors.
The associations are urging the government and its related ministries to urgently engage and discuss ways to allow dine-ins safely before it is too late.
“Allow public and private collaboration so we can provide a wider perspective and debate next steps.
“We are not asking for handouts, instead we need the government to be reasonable.
“The industry has been a significantly small contributor to new clusters because many businesses have been compliant.
“We appeal to Putrajaya, let our people come back to work, save small businesses and let us contribute to the nation again.”
Also present during the press conference were representatives from F&B Connects, Malaysia F&B Alliance, Professional Culinaire Association, Malaysia Food & Beverage Executives Association and Hapa Group.
Collectively, the groups represent more than 1,200 different food and beverage brands in the country with a workforce of tens of thousands of Malaysians.