After the removal of the goods and services tax (GST), restaurant operators are still finding it difficult to reduce their prices.
Most claim that their hands are tied because the middlemen are unwilling to lower the prices of the raw ingredients.
For example, Adnan Abdat of Simply Ribs said that based on their experience, “prices from the markets have not gone down; therefore, we are unable to reduce the prices on our menu.”
Another operator, Angie Lim of Big Big Bowl, said that small business entrepreneurs like her are “squeezed” from both sides.
“While the customers expect prices to go down, we are finding that prices of the greens have gone up,” she said. “For us, since our business is small, we never charged GST; therefore, our prices have not gone down.”
For those who pack their food, Lim said they will save some cost by using their own food containers. “It is also a lot better for the environment when our customers use their own containers so that we do not have to charge them 30 sen for each container,” she said. “The Malaysian mindset has to change. Why use disposable food packaging materials when you can use proper food containers?”
Apart from the zero percent GST, Michael Loh of Restoran Aunty Lee in Malacca, who has a branch in Desa Park City in Kuala Lumpur, agreed to lower the prices of their signature dishes...