I read an interesting article in a local English daily. The petrol prices has come down a lot. However, the restaurants said they can’t lower their prices. It’s funny because they said the main reason they could not lower the prices is because of their suppliers are still charging them the same. The suppliers meanwhile said that the transporters have yet to reduce their prices after the petrol price drop. The transporters meanwhile are saying that it is hard to estimate how long would this fuel price last, thus, no adjustments. On the other hand, in some huge departmental stores, some of the restaurants inside are giving out lunch sets or dinner sets at just RM7.90 including a soup, a main course and a drink! Yes, you guessed it, COMPETITION for customers. Even Mc.Donalds has their value sets and do do KFC. It has to be competition because both are not charity organisations. The real reason that all these are happening would always be the consumers. If we are still okay and patronise the restaurants while still lamenting the fact that they are expensive, then we are the real cause. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to survive when you open a restaurant, I do understand. However, there are many restaurants that are overcharging and all of us know about it. Yet, we continue to eat there. What a great encouragement.
Everyone said more competition would push for better services. Very true. Where does the competition come from? It’s from the buyers and users of such services. Why do majority of us shop around when we want to buy a new smartphone? Most of the time, we would go to places where many phone shops would be operating side by side. That way, we know we would get the best possible price. It’s the same. Is it true that the food that we want to eat, only that ONE shop sells it and only that ONE shop is our only choice? If answer is Yes, then congratulations to the shop, they can continue increasing their price. Pity the ones who must eat from that one shop only. Until today, there are nasi lemak, with half an egg, some sambals, kacang and timun for RM1.50 and all the way to RM5 or higher. Do we believe in the power of the people? If we do, it’s also time to exert a little influence on prices that we feel are not justified, not just continuing to post in Facebook comments and then do nothing.
Personally, if I ever come across any restaurants which I feel is overcharging, I would not go there and I would tell everyone I know about it. Perhaps it is just the nature of us Malaysians, we are good people. Therefore, most of the time, we complain and then forget about it. Inflation, according to economists depends on demand and supply. Higher demand, insufficient supply, prices go up. Too much supply, insufficient demand, prices come down. When we go back to the actual foundation for this inflation matter, whether its demand or supply, it points back to us, the people. During good times, even the hotel rooms would be expensive and yet during low periods, the hotels can throw special discounts. Please do not tell me that their operating costs differ between good times and slow times? I know, everyone have their favourite spots. Please continue to patronise and support them as much as you want. Would I still go to Starbucks? Yes, I would. These days, mostly for those buy one free one offers. I also have some vouchers where I get another free cup of coffee when I buy any coffee there. We shall see what happens when they run out of offers / promotions. Seriously, I don’t think so. 🙂
written on 5 Jan 2015
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