Malay Mail: RM5 meals at KL's Rahmah Ramadan bazaar pull in sales as customers order pricier items on the side
KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — The cheap meals at one of the several Ramadan bazaars nationwide offering the affordable Menu Rahmah items attracted an abundance of visitors, many of whom end up spending more on other dishes to the delight of vendors.
One staff for a fried rice food truck at the Rahmah Ramadan Bazaar located in the backstreets near the Sogo shopping mall here said that he noticed his shop’s RM5 Menu Rahmah item — Chinese fried rice — would often get ordered alongside other items in his menu such as giant fried squid or fried chicken, which cost RM15 and RM9 respectively.
"We sell around 10 to 15 of the Menu Rahmah items a day, and between 50 to 100 other items in total a day,” the worker who wanted to be known only as Junaidi told Malay Mail.
The Chinese fried rice would usually be sold at RM7, while other fried rice items — such as chicken fried rice, or shrimp fried rice with "petai" — cost between RM8 and RM15.
Similarly, 19-year-old Muhammad Putra Aiman who works for the Lebai Pa King Kebab Station, said that their Menu Rahmah kebab meat buns were a good gateway for other items on their menu, such as their popular mini Roti John that is sold for RM7.
"Yes, our Menu Rahmah is selling well. And we do make some profits for the Menu Rahmah, but I’m not sure how much,” he said.
Lebai Pa King Kebab Station’s Menu Rahmah kebab chicken meat bun (left) compared to its beef mini Roti John (right) at the Ramadan Rahmah Foodtruck bazaar in Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman March 28, 2023. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Other vendors too stated that they earned "some” or "a little” profit from their Menu Rahmah items.
Called Bazaar Ramadan Foodtruck Rahmah, it consisted of some 20 to 30 food trucks parked along Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman and saw heavy foot traffic from about 5.30pm until Muslims break their fast just before 7.30pm.
It is one of the 38 Rahmah Ramadan bazaars opened nationwide as part of the government’s larger Rahmah initiative to encourage businesses to sell affordable meals below RM5 each.
While the rental prices for vendors at these bazaars vary based on the decision of local authorities, according to Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Fuziah Salleh who visited the site yesterday, the rental price at the one visited by Malay Mail is RM10 a day, which contributes towards clean-up costs.
Fuziah explained that while a Rahmah Ramadan Bazaar requires at least 30 per cent of the stalls to offer Menu Rahmah items, all traders in Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman's Rahmah bazaar offer the affordable menu.
The initiative was also welcomed by customers of the bazaar.
Balqis Florence Abdullah, 60, who owns a shop in the vicinity, said she wanted to buy one of the Menu Rahmah items for her "iftar" — the meal eaten by Muslims to break their ritual fasting during Ramadan — after hearing a good review.
"This morning I heard from a friend of mine that she ate a 'nasi goreng ayam kunyit' Menu Rahmah offer.
"She said it was great considering the portion that they gave, so here I am,” said Balqis, holding a packet of fruit rojak that she bought earlier.
A general view of the Bazar Ramadan Rahmah at Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman March 28, 2023. Photo by Hari Anggara
Wan Azamuddin Wan Izham, 27, who works as a salesman at the Pertama Complex located some 150m away from the bazaar, said that it was a good way to save some money.
"When people told me there was a Bazaar Ramadhan Rahmah, I automatically knew that some stalls would be offering a RM5 pack of food or a cup of drink.
"I'm here to buy a drink in case I'm stuck in the Ramadan traffic on my way back home in Kelana Jaya. I don't want to overspend on a drink that I'll finish within 20 minutes," he said.
On Monday, Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub launched the Rahmah Ramadan Bazaar initiative in one such bazaar in Putrajaya's Precinct 14.
Other Rahmah bazaars include one in Penang's Bayan Baru, the Ipoh People Walk in Perak; and the Binjai Rendah bazaar in Marang, Terengganu.