Mixed reactions to eateries levying CNY surcharges of up to 10% to cope with costs

Your money, your choice.

Ruth Chai | February 04, 2024, 03:19 PM



Some food and beverage (F&B) outlets have announced that they will implement a 10 per cent surcharge if they are operating during the Chinese New Year period, drawing mixed reactions from netizens.

While some eateries will pause operations from the evening of Feb. 9 to Feb. 12, some F&B businesses choosing to continue operations will now be implementing surcharges.


At least one person has observed that local restaurant chain Qiji have put up a notice stating that they will be imposing a 10 per cent surcharge from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12.

Posting the notice onto Facebook, the person commented that one should patronise elsewhere due to the surcharge.

Photo via Complaint Singapore Unrestricted/Facebook

Many in the comment section, however, disagreed, and were sympathetic towards the workers who had to work over the holidays.

Photo via Complaint Singapore Unrestricted/Facebook

Photo via Complaint Singapore Unrestricted/Facebook

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, a spokesperson for Qiji said that the practice of levying a 10 per cent surcharge during Chinese New Year is a consistent one throughout the years.

The reason behind the measure is to incentivise employees to work during the festive season, when outlets usually face manpower constraints.

The surcharge will contribute to the higher pay that employees will receive if they work during this period.


Shin Min also reported that local vegetarian restaurant Greendot will charge an extra S$3.80 to customers who pre-order their food before Feb. 9.

In addition, orders placed between Feb. 9 and Feb. 12 will be subjected to a holiday surcharge of 10 per cent of the total bill.

The founder of Greendot told Shin Min that restaurants that usually do not require customers to pay for service charge will implement a surcharge during Chinese New Year.

On the other hand, restaurants that require customers to pay for service charge do not usually implement a festive season surcharge.


Food chain EAT, managed by Feixiong Group, announced on Facebook that they will be adding a festive surcharge of S$0.30 to all noodle and rice dishes from Feb. 11 to Feb. 12.

Photo via EAT/Facebook

Increased labour, transportation and ingredient costs

Speaking to Shin Min, president of the Singapore Foochow Coffee Restaurant & Bar Merchants Association Hong Baoxing (transliterated from Chinese) said that the price of drinks in kopitiams is expected to increase by S$0.10 to S$0.20 cents during the first three days of Chinese New Year.

Meanwhile, food prices will increase by about S$0.50 to S$1.

Hong said that kopitiams will typically raise prices starting from the eve of Chinese New Year.

He added, that workers will typically earn additional wages if they work during the holidays.

Transportation fees and ingredient costs may also increase during Chinese New Year, so the higher costs of ingredients may trickle down to the consumer.

Restaurants are also often short on manpower during the festive season. Thus, restaurant owners will also offer employees higher salaries to incentivise them to work.

F&B bosses may also offer angpows, overtime pay, and bonuses to employees who work during Chinese New Year.

Top photo via Complaint Singapore Unrestricted and EAT on Facebook