KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Kopitiams, as the traditional coffeeshops are colloquially called nationwide, are expected to increase the price of their beverages by as much as 60 sen in the new year.
Citing rising operating costs, Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association president Wong Teu Hoon said the average price hike will be between 20 to 60 sen, depending on the location of the shop, The Malaysian Insight reported today.
“The price will increase 20-30 sen in rural areas and 40-60 sen in urban areas.
“The rent is higher in certain areas so the prices will also higher,” he was quoted saying.
Wong explained that the new prices were to help coffeeshop owners to manage their rising operation costs and claimed they would not profit much from the price adjustment.
“Recently, many things have become more expensive — from condensed milk and evaporated milk needed to make coffee or tea, to the salaries of employees, rent and cooking gas,” he was quoted saying.
According to Wong, coffeeshop owners only made RM20 if they sold 100 cups of coffee a day, even if the price per cup went up by 20 sen.
“That amount is not enough to pay the salaries of foreign workers. At most, it is only a subsidy,” he told the news portal.
He said the salary of a foreign worker has risen from RM1,200 to RM1,650 and the annual agency fee has shot up to RM9,500 from RM6,000, resulting in coffeeshops being understaffed.
Wong, who is also the president of the Malacca Coffee Shopkeepers’ Association, claimed most coffeeshops in the state have not raised their prices in the past six years.
“We have been maintaining prices even with the increase in rent, utility charges and employees’ salaries.
“This time, we are really forced to raise prices. Most businesses agree to start adjusting the beverage prices from January 1,” he was quoted saying.
In the north, Penang and Province Wellesley Cafe Association chairman Tan Kar Seong said some industry players were hesitant to increase the price of their beverages for fear of losing their customers.
He said their businesses aimed to obtain small profits with large sales volumes.
“The price of everything is going up and no one knows what has gone wrong. The situation is really bad,” he was quoted saying.
According to Tan, the price of coffee powder will also rise next year.
Coffeeshops in the south have yet to reach an agreement on whether or not to raise the prices of their beverages.
Johor Baru Coffee, Restaurant and Bar Operators Association chairman Tiong Kiu Wong said the current sluggish state of the country's economy also put businesses in a bind as they had to consider their customers' ability to spend when deciding whether or not to increase the prices of goods.
Tiong also said his association has not discussed price hikes and is still studying the situation.
“As far as I know, only a handful of coffee shops in Johor Baru have raised the prices of their beverages. The increase is small, about 10 per cent.
“They may have faced rent pressure, so they raised prices,” he was quoted saying.