Hawkers feeling the pinch as cost of food goes up

Hawkers feeling the pinch as cost of food goes up

Hawkers feeling the pinch as cost of food goes up

PETALING JAYA: Hawkers are lamenting that they have no choice but to suffer lower profits because of higher costs, for fear that any increase in the prices of their dishes will cause them to lose customers.

A restaurant owner in her 50s, who wished to be known only as Ms Yu, said the increased prices of chicken, pork and oil had affected her profits.

However, fearing backlash from customers, she said she had chosen not to increase her prices and would “just get by and wait it out”.

“We cater mostly to office workers here, so if you increase your prices they won’t take it well – they’re sensitive to prices,” she said.

She said office workers would feel burdened by the price increase as they themselves were not well-paid.

Ms Yu said while the increased costs had affected her profits, hawkers had ‘no choice but to get by’ as higher prices will burden her customers.

Fong Sun Fatt, 55, said he has yet to increase his prices despite pork prices being increased six times since the start of the year.

While he could still cope since he had regular customers, he admitted he was reluctant to increase his prices for fear that he would lose customers if he did so.

“We have to earn less and try to sell more for now, what else can we do? During Covid-19 it was worse because we couldn’t even work. Since we are able to work again, we just have to be content and make do for now,” Fong said.

Sean, 55, who runs a food eatery, said it was a “collective problem” faced across the world, but she hoped the government would help regulate the market to avoid prices spiralling out of control.

“Otherwise, it will be us, the people, who will suffer. Our profits and salaries don’t go up but the cost of everything is increasing.”

Kok Lai Har, 56, said her price for a serving of noodles had increased by 50 sen to RM1.

Although she had increased her prices slightly, she was hesitant to increase it by too much as they would have less business by doing so.

Two long-standing hawkers in the city centre told FMT that customers were not surprised with price increases considering prices were going up everywhere else as well.

Kok Lai Har, 56, said she would usually try to resist price pressures until it reached a certain limit.

“If we don’t resist price pressures, our customers will complain saying their salaries are still the same, although they understand we need to raise our prices.”

Jia Hui, 18, who is continuing her father’s claypot chicken rice business, said they had faced difficulties getting their chicken supply, and there were times when they did not have enough and had to resort to reducing the meat portion in their dishes.

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Hawkers feeling the pinch as cost of food goes up

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