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Budget-friendly restaurants strive to stay afloat amid chicken price hike

By Maria Weldali - Jul 24,2021 - Last updated at Jul 24,2021

AMMAN — After the increase in chicken prices, many budget-friendly restaurants are having a hard time keeping their businesses afloat, President of the Jordan Association for Restaurants and Sweets Shops Owners Omar Awad told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

“Around 45 to 70 per cent of casual dining restaurants, which are exempt from sales tax provided that a certain pricing is followed, are facing considerable challenges,” Awad said. 

He noted that most budget restaurant owners hope to change their restaurants into ones that pay sales taxes, thus increasing their prices for chicken meals, in order to keep their businesses going.

“Having less and less low-priced and budget eateries will for sure lead to social imbalances,” he said. 

“Operators are facing great losses, while operational costs remain too high,” he added.

Awad said that in the last two months, since the association’s meeting with the trade ministry, there have been no changes to improve the situation. “The magnitude of damage and pressure has dramatically increased,” he said.

“A slight increase in the prices of chicken and shawarma meals will help operators stay in business,” Awad said. 

Upscale dining and tourist restaurants are not impacted, said Awad, pointing out that budget-friendly dining restaurants with moderately priced menus are struggling, especially after the significant increase in chicken prices.

“We used to buy a chicken for JD1.2, but now the price of a chicken reached JD2.6, while we sell the whole chicken meal for JD4.2,” Awad told The Jordan Times. 

Awad said that the trade ministry until now has only given promises.

“We appreciate Trade Minister’s efforts regarding the matter, but the losses that have been sustained by significant numbers of restaurants, has prompted us to speak out about the extremely difficult situation,” he said.

The Trade Ministry refused the association’s request to increase the prices of chicken meals in budget-friendly restaurants, according to a ministry statement made available to The Jordan Times.

The statement added that the ministry has held several meetings regarding the matter over the past period, in order to explore possible alternatives to bring about a satisfactory solution, without having to change the prices.

 

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