Restaurants profit, despite rising prices

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Despite rising foodstuff prices globally, a margin of profit was recorded in highly-frequently restaurants locally, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Supply Youssef Al-Shamali said, according to Al-Mamlaka TV.اضافة اعلان

Shamali’s comment was in response to calls by the Association for Restaurants and Sweet Shop Owners to increase menu prices locally by 10 percent.

In response, Shamali said the ministry will review restaurant menus, provided that restaurant owners present documents confirming that losses had indeed been inflicted.

He explained that once “evidence” is established that a restaurant is losing, the ministry will present the matter to the Cabinet for discussion.

Shamali said the ministry met with the association less than two months ago and reviewed menu prices. “We found that there’s a profit margin made by these restaurants, despite an increase in international prices,” according to Shamali.

During the meeting, the association asked to double the meals and add more items to menus, which, according to Shamali, were approved and implemented.

Omar Awwad, president of the Association for restaurants and Sweet Shop Owners, said that most frequented restaurants suffer losses due to the hike in international prices.

He explained that around 300 restaurants closed down in February, noting that he requested the government again to increase menu prices by 5 to 10 percent.

Awwad warned that restaurant owners might reduce their expenses in order to maintain the work flow, and that would only happen by firing employees or cutting down their salaries.

He also warned that small restaurants might shut down due to the lack of price control, contending that people’s weak purchasing power is affecting the restaurant sector, which dropped by 50 to 60 percent since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Awwad contended that the prices of certain items have increased, such as oil, chicken and legumes of various kinds, ultimately affecting restaurant business.

He said the association is contemplating escalation, including having workers take part-time shifts, firing foreign workers, and possibly staging a strike in light of the government’s lack of response to its demands.

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