Association calls for 30–40% increase in cost of traditional meals

Restaurants  Restaurant  food
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Jordanian Union of Restaurants and Confectionery Proprietors on Sunday called on the government to raise the prices of traditional meals by 30 to 40 percent, equivalent to 200 fils, but added that it “does not want to infringe on the peoples’ livelihood”, local news outlets reported.اضافة اعلان

During an emergency meeting to determine the extent of the damage sustained by providers of traditional foods and the next steps needed to “manage” prices, the union also called on the government to exempt traditional restaurants from paying fees on purchases, raise customs and sales tax on imported frozen chicken, and exempt animal feed from customs duties.

It called for setting price ceilings on suppliers and passing measures to combat monopolies.

The union also called on the government to direct the Social Security Corporation to cap monthly deduction rates from restaurant owners, in addition to stopping legal procedures against establishments operating in the sector, while giving them an opportunity to correct their conditions.

They also called on the Central Bank of Jordan to suspend loan repayments for a period of no less than three months, including June.

The head of the union, Omar Al-Awwad, said the price list for traditional restaurants has been in force since 2016 and must be amended, taking into account the price increases that affected most foodstuffs, ranging between 50 and 320 percent, according to a study submitted to the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply.

Awwad told Al-Mamlaka TV that the union had reached a dead end after several meetings with the ministry, adding that an official letter will be sent to Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh regarding their demands. “We will give the ministry one week from today’s meeting to respond and to ensure the best interests of the traditional restaurants sector before taking any escalatory measures in the event of non-response,” he said.

A member of the union said during the meeting that 4,000 restaurants have closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and at least 10,000 restaurants are at risk of bankruptcy. According to Awwad there are roughly 20,000 restaurants in the country. He added that the sector provides job opportunities and contributes to reducing unemployment.

During the meeting, one restaurant owner, pointed the recent hike in electricity tariffs and the effect on operating costs. “Restaurants’ profit margins have been eroded and now we are heading for losses,” he said. “Meanwhile, the tourism sector has raised its prices three times during the last period,” he added.

According to the union’s study, energy costs have increased 42 percent between 2016 and 2022, rent has increased by 20 percent between 2015 and 2022, and workers’ wages have increased 37 percent between 2016 and 2022.

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