Customer complains that $48 meal for 9 pax is too expensive for 'only a few dishes'

The New Paper
Apr 11, 2022

A meal at a Chinese restaurant for nine people for less than $50? For most people, that would seem more than reasonable.

But not to a group of diners at Restaurant Chai Por Hu, a Chinese restaurant in Kedah, Malaysia, recently, who deemed their RM148 (S$48) meal “very expensive” upon settling the tab. 

The restaurant owner, Facebook user Samz Wong, was so baffled by the comment that he posted about it on social media last Thursday (April 7), along with the receipt from the meal, which comprised seven dishes – for eight adults and one child.    

The receipt showed the customer ordered fish that cost RM39 (S$12.60), prime pork ribs that cost RM17 (S$5.50) and a prawn dish that cost RM17 (S$5.50), as well as other dishes, rice and drinks.

He wrote in the post: “The customer came to pay after the meal and said our food was very expensive. 

“I said, ‘Uncle, look at the order, nine people eat RM148, it is not expensive.’

“Customer: It's already very expensive, only a few dishes.”

Mr Wong added: "The average profit of a single order is less than 30 per cent. Why do some people think it's expensive?"

He also pointed out that RM150 does not get you much in terms of food from the market, let alone having to cook it and wash the dishes.

Mr Wong did not say if the customer was local or a foreigner.

He said prices have remained the same at his restaurant over the years so as to not to alienate his regular customers.

When the eatery opened at its new location in 2019, the prices did not increase, apart from the fried chilli, which costs RM2 – this too despite the pandemic affecting business.

His Facebook post led to media coverage in Malaysia, and many netizens empathised with the restaurant owner in the comments section.

"A simple Thai meal costs RM200 to RM400 for a meal. RM148 is too cheap! This amount still includes the RM15 drink, I suspect these people live in a forest!"

"Ask them to pay for their own groceries and recreate your dishes. Let's see if it's RM148.40. And then they can discuss if it's really expensive or not. These people have not woken up from their sleep yet."

"My store's markup is 15 per cent and it is said to be expensive. Chinese people nowadays are like this, they only know how to bully small business owners. But they don't feel reasonable when going to chain stores to drink, eat and spend. Business is really hard to do."

Some, however, accused Mr Wong of using the post to promote his business. To which the business owner said the restaurant has a 22-year history with many local and foreign diners, and did not need this recent incident to make a name for itself.

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