Yesterday a new policy was implemented that affected tens of thousands of businesses all over the country; coffeeshops were informed of a new liquor licensing policy at the last minute, else they would not be able to operate next year.
Petaling Jaya Coffeeshop Association president, Keu Kok Ming, said yesterday that the new licensing policy could force many coffee shops to cease operations, as the licence costs between RM840 and RM1,320 a year.
And he just might be right.
Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association president Wong Teu Hoon said operators may not think it is worth paying between RM840 and RM1,320 for a licence when they can hardly earn from selling beer.
While it was reported that coffee shops selling beer need to apply for a licence, he noted that the new policy by the Customs Department will also affect other eateries.
“I estimate 60 percent out of 15,000 restaurants and 80 percent out of 20,000 coffee shops may cease selling beer if the new regulations come into force,” Wong, who is also the president of Pan Malaysia Koo Soo Restaurants and Chefs Association.
“Consumers seldom consume beer at restaurants and coffee shops and they don’t patronise these eateries just for beer. Beer is not the main source of income for these operators.
“Each coffee shop can hardly sell 10 cartons of beer in a month. Under such circumstances, these operators would rather not apply for a beer licence,” he said.
Wong said only restaurants and coffee shops situated at prime locations and tourist spots may consider applying for the licence.
Businesses who are trying to stay afloat are increasing the prices of their beverages to afford the new license.
According to Malay Mail, representatives from “kopitiam” businesses explained that the price hike will, on average, be between 20 to 60 sen for a cup, depending on where the shop is located.
It said that the price would increase by 20 to 30 sen in rural areas and between 40 to 60 sen in urban areas.