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Competition in the food industry

Monika Singh
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

THE Fiji Retailers Association is urging restaurants, takeaway outlets and cafes to be members of the organisation in their next membership drive.

Association president Vinay Kumar said the issues faced by the retailers were similar to the issues faced by the restaurant operators — issues such as cost of business, traffic and parking.

"Therefore more members in SRA would give the association more incentive to work with the relevant authorities in addressing issues faced by the association members," said Mr Kumar.

According to Mr Kumar, predominantly, SRA members were retailers of goods and services.

"We do however have a few restaurant and café owners who are active members such as Curry House, Ashiyana, Govinda Vegetarian restaurant and Victoria Café.

"Many of the restaurants and takeaways in the Suva central business district is owned by the Asians. Restaurants and cafes slightly differ from our members who are mostly retailing consumer goods from groceries to clothing to electronics."

Recently some new restaurants have opened in the Capital City giving consumers a wide range of cuisines and services to choose from.

"We think there is a market for these and further more restaurants in the city.

"More restaurants and cafes give the consumers more choices and gives further incentives for consumers to come to the city to dine.

"Suva is a melting pot of cultures now more than ever. Suva houses many non-governmental organisations and embassies which have different cultures therefore diverse restaurants are better for Suva," he said.

Mr Kumar said Suva offered cuisines from Chinese to Indian to Mexican to Japanese to Korean to Thai.

"In addition to McDonald's we now have international fast food chain Burger King in the heart of Suva CBD which is beneficial for the city."

Meanwhile Mr Kumar said more restaurants meant more competition which would lead to improvement in the services provided by the operators in terms of food quality, prices and premises.

"Competition is rife in most business fields and restaurant business is not immune from competition.

"Suva has some of the oldest restaurants and the newest and we think there is space for more. Like stated earlier, Suva is very multicultural and is a melting pot now more than ever."

He said some of the top restaurants in the CBD were booked out most nights, indicating that there was a market for more finer restaurants and also restaurants and cafes that offered value for money.

"The new Burger King restaurant is not too far from the McDonald's restaurant in the CBD, however one will observe that both are busy at the same time.

"We hope more international brand names and fast food chains consider opening in Suva as it is the most cosmopolitan city in the South Pacific.

"Having more of restaurants and cafes in Suva will not only give Suva siders more choice but to visitors to the city from around Fiji and abroad."

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