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Chicken-based dishes get pricier as Malaysia's export ban takes a toll

Chicken-based dishes are getting pricier, as some eateries have already hiked prices, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach, following Malaysia's export ban which began on Wednesday (June 1).

Chicken rice chain Boon Tong Kee, which has eight outlets across the island, said it has increased the price of its Signature Boiled (Poached) Chicken dish by 15 per cent to $36 without GST across all its outlets since Wednesday.

As there is limited stock of fresh chicken, there will also be a cap on the number of boiled chickens served at each outlet, which is about 50 to 70.

The price hike was to compensate for the 10 per cent to 20 per cent increase in the cost of fresh chicken among various suppliers, said Boon Tong Kee's director Jason Thian.

The eatery's other signature dish, paper-wrapped chicken, will now be made using frozen chicken.

At chicken rice restaurant Sing Swee Kee in Seah Street, operations director Eliss Pang said it may raise prices by 5 per cent to 10 per cent in the future.

Ms Pang said it is monitoring the prices of chicken supplies, and hopes they will stabilise so that any drastic price adjustments can be avoided.

"It is not only costs of whole chickens that are affected, there are chicken innards, chicken feet, chicken bones that we use for our soup and rice, and those costs have all increased too," she added.

Taiwanese fried chicken chain Monga said it has been "impacted negatively", both by the high price and short supply.

Mr Lem Cheong, director of operations at Baoshi F&B Management which owns the chain, said it may increase the prices of all its products by 30 cents by next week.

"We have already been absorbing the costs for the past few weeks. I believe our customers should be able to empathise; it's the same situation across the board for most in the market," said Mr Cheong.

Meanwhile, Dickson Nasi Lemak in Joo Chiat has temporarily closed its outlet for this month, and hopes to reopen on July 1 if the ban is lifted.

Some staff at the outlet will be moved to another outlet, Champion Bolo Bun, said The Platform Collective, which manages the eatery.

It added that some staff from Malaysia have gone back home.

"As at May 2022, we sold dishes like ayam goreng berempah nasi lemak (spiced fried chicken). If the export ban continues, we'll look into launching dishes like ayam rendang, beef rendang and sambal sotong," said managing director Hoh Loyi.

    But some restaurants said they will not be increasing prices.

      Khansama Tandoori Restaurant in Little India plans to absorb the higher costs. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE
       

      Khansama Tandoori Restaurant in Little India plans to absorb the higher costs.

      "We have a high turnover rate and our business is stable, so we will not be making any changes like lowering wages or decreasing the quality of our food," said managing partner Rakesh Kumar.

      • Additional reporting by Amanda Lee
      FOOD AND BEVERAGE SECTORRESTAURANTS/EATERIESCHICKEN