Restaurants ask again to be allowed to raise prices

Restaurants Restaurant
A man prepares falafel sandwiches at an Amman restaurant serving traditional meals. (File Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Jordanian Union of Restaurants and Confectionery Proprietors asked the government anew to accept that they raise prices, as despite the many promises made by the government, they have not received an answer either way yet.اضافة اعلان

Due to the fact that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply is not responding to its demands, the union is asking for another meeting with the Senate Public Services Committee to inform it of the changes the sector has undergone.

Omar Al-Awwad, the head of the Jordanian Union of Restaurants and Confectionery Proprietors, said a prompt response to the union demands will help revive the sector, “which has been suffering from stagnation for a long time”.

He told Jordan News that “a large number of restaurants have closed and laid off their employees, due to their inability to bear more burdens” , indicating that the number “is expected to increase during the coming period if the government fails to provide solutions to support the sector”.

Awwad emphasized that there is a significant, “approximately 70-80 percent”, decline in the restaurant business.

Many factors contributed to this, he said, naming a few: “The purchasing power of citizens has become weak, priorities have changed, and there is reluctance to go to restaurants due to the difficult economic conditions.”

“These factors, in addition to the significant increase in the prices of raw materials, contributed to the sector incurring bigger losses, which requires us to find solutions to help this sector stand on its feet again,” he said.

Raed Hamada, representative of the restaurant sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, and owner of Hamada Restaurant, told Jordan News that “we support the union’s demands to raise prices, in view of the serious losses the sector has been incurring”.

According to him, “the government is pushing this sector toward either closing restaurants and laying off employees, or resorting to fraud and using lower quality materials”.

“The prices of basic items used in restaurants have risen by a large percentage, especially due to the Russian war on Ukraine,” he said, adding that “if the government does not want to allow restaurants to raise their prices, it must at least subsidize basic items. In the end, we are citizens, and we feel with the citizens and we do not want to raise prices, but we are going through difficult circumstances and we need support.” he added.

“Raising prices and maintaining the use of excellent quality materials is much better than resorting to poor quality raw materials,” he said.

“Some restaurants resort to using the same frying oils more than once, which causes them to be hydrogenated and thus become carcinogenic. This is due to the high prices of oil, which nowadays reached some JD32 per 4 liters,” added Hamada.

Yanal Barmawi, official spokesman of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply told Jordan News that “there are no developments in this regard, and the minister maintains the statements he made some time ago”.

Minister Youssef Al-Shamali had said that traditional restaurants have a margin of profit despite the increase in global prices. He also stressed that the ministry was ready to reconsider the price lists and direct the Cabinet to take a decision in this regard if any restaurant provides evidence that it is experiencing losses.

Shamali had said that the ministry had met with union representatives and re-examined the prices, and found that they made a profit despite the high global prices.

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