Traders resort to survival strategies to keep food businesses going


MELAKA – Rows of eateries in the hotspots in Bandar Melaka usually bustling with visitors wanting to enjoy iconic dishes such as ‘Asam Pedas’ as well as various menus, are now deserted and only filled with food delivery motorcycles.

A Bernama check at Monorail Food Village, Jalan Tun Ali found the average trader had to change operating hours and promotional strategies including providing online food delivery services to ensure business continuity, following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since Jan 13.

For Muhammad Azrul Rozelan, 34, previously the restaurant was open from evening until 12 midnight, but since the MCO, he started making preparations to complete the menu ordered by customers starting from 11am.

“Previously, my nachos business was quite encouraging, but with the implementation of MCO 2.0, my income has dropped by 50 per cent from previous sales which can reach between RM300 to RM600 a day.

“We have taken the initiative by changing the way we do business as previously many visitors come to eat in this area, but now we have to use online food delivery services,” he told Bernama here today.

Nurazmira Nadia Ishak, 25, who sells a variety of fried chicken said sales were currently relatively slow but she was taking advantage of the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram to promote food products in her shop.

“I promote a lot of sales on the Melaka tourism website and have to diversify the means of promotion because in the past we depended on visitors who came to this place. Thankfully, this effort was successful, many also support our business,” she said.

Meanwhile, drink vendor, Ali Ahmad, 50, said he was grateful to his fellow food stall traders there who help and support by promoting the sale of cut fruits and drinks at his shop.

“The demand for drinks is very low, trying to earn RM50 a day is difficult, but fortunately friends here  help promote food with a drink, so thankfully I can earn a bit,” he said.

For Muhammad Azan Muhammad Syafie, 26, the last food order he will receive is at 7pm but the number of orders during the weekend is much less than the working day because people are at home and do their own cooking.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had earlier announced the implementation of the MCO in Penang, Selangor, Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan), Melaka, Johor and Sabah for a period of 14 days starting from Jan 13, with some economic activities allowed to operate from 6am until 8pm.