GST won’t affect F&B industry, say cafe owners

KUALA LUMPUR: It is a known fact that Malaysia has a high frequency of people eating out.

With the implementation of theGoods and Services Tax (GST)on April 1, will it affect the food & beverage (F&B) sector the burning question people will ask is: will people stop from going out to have their meals?

A cafe assistant manager in Wangsa Walk Mall, who prefers to be known as Ahmad, is confident that the implementation of GST will not affect his business.

“I believe that the pressure would only be felt only during the first two to three months of its implementation and this is the period my business will be affected. Through my observation, we expect a decline of 20 to 30 per cent of customers after April 1.

“This is due to the fact that people do not understand the mechanics of the GST, so they ‘fear’ it. People will be afraid to eat out. Once they are familiar with the GST our business will be back to normal.

He also admitted that the prices of food and drinks at his cafe will increase and the price tags would be set by the headquarters.

“It will not be a drastic increase,” said Ahmad.

An owner of a western food cafe in Wangsa Maju said that the food prices at his outlet will remain even after GST is implemented.

“We are not registered under GST because our annual revenue is below than RM500,000, but I must say that it all depends on our suppliers.

“If our suppliers increase their prices, we have no choice but to increase the prices of our food. But, we will not impose any GST charges on our customers,” said Ibrahim, adding that he is still waiting for the latest prices from his suppliers.

“It’s hard for me to comment now because we still can’t foresee what would happen after April 1. Although ours is a small business, we would still be affected by GST,” he said.

As a cafe owner, Ibrahim said he wonders the mechanics adopted by other cafe owners in implementing the GST.

“In Singapore, what you see on the sign board or menu is the price that you pay. I don’t know if restaurants in Malaysia will follow that method too,” he said.

Asyraf Adlan, who owns a cafe in Empire Damansara in Petaling Jaya, also said his company is not registered under GST because it’s registered below RM500,000.

He said the food prices at his cafe will remain unchanged.

“It all depends on our supplier but so far they have not increased the prices,” he said.

Asked if his business will be affected due to the implementation of GST, Asyraf said: “I’m still not sure yet but the lunch crowd during weekdays is still going to be the same.”

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