Famous restaurant chain Kayu Nasi Kandar has found itself in hot soup several times over the past week as allegations of the restaurant overcharging its customers came to light
Late last week, a Kayu branch in Bukit Jambul, Penang was raided by officials from the Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) after an angry customer complained about having to pay RM2.50 for roti telur
Three days later, the same branch received yet another visit from KPDNKK after another customer was charged a whopping RM20.00 for 5 stalks of okra (lady's fingers)!
It should also be noted that the food items contained in the receipt were also charged at prices that are higher than any typical nasi kandar joint.
In explanation for the 20-ringgit okras, managing director Burhan Mohamed said that it was the result of a "human error" wherein the cashier accidentally typed in RM4.00 for each okra instead of 40 sen
“The cashier had unintentionally keyed in an extra zero. Instead of RM2 for 4 stalks of okra, it had become RM20,” he said.therakyatpost.com
Burhan also said that a formal apology has already been made on its Facebook page and that the restaurant will "gladly refund the balance to the customer".thestar.com.my
"We are doing long term business, we have regulars, we don't simply charge extraordinary prices to our customers," he said.thesundaily.my
However, he maintained that the RM2.50 price tag for roti telur is "reasonable" as it is in line with the food quality and services provided by the restaurant
“Our roti telur price is reasonable as it is of high quality and customers can enjoy their food in the comfortable setting of our restaurant," he explained.freemalaysiatoday.com
Burhan said the restaurant took pains to ensure cleanliness and customer comfort, with a fully air-conditioned outlet and spending RM1,000 a month on just cleaning liquid.
“Customers must understand all these costs we have to incur. One customer can use four to five tissues per meal,’’ he said.
Burhan also defended the restaurant's hiking up the prices of its food items, as the Customs Department had instructed that all prices be inclusive of GST
“The Customs Department said all prices must be GST inclusive, so it has been added to the price of each item,” he said.themalaymailonline.com
Burhan said the complaints of overcharging have come about because customers who were angry over the GST were directing their anger at his restaurant instead.
While enforcement officers have noted Burhan’s explanations, they issued him all the same with a notice demanding an explanation for the price hikes within three days.
Then, two days ago, the following receipt began circulating on social media alleging that a Kayu branch in Petaling Jaya had charged RM11.00 for roti tisu
Following that, other disgruntled customers soon began pointing out their own experiences of being charged exorbitant prices for food - not just in Kayu, but other nasi kandar restaurants as well
Many pointed out that nasi kandar restaurant chains like Kayu have been charging "ridiculous" prices for their food way, way before GST was even implemented. In fact, some have even actively avoided stepping foot into such restaurants.
Optimistically, the authorities should be knocking on every food outlet's door to make sure that the GST is not misused for businessowners' own gains
However, business owners operate on a "willing buyer, willing seller" basis. It is within their right to set the prices they do as long as consumers are willing to pay them.
Which is why we, as consumers, should take steps to be extra vigilant when it comes to settling the bill when dining out. Always, always check the details to make sure that you are charged accordingly.