9 Survival Tips for Cafes and Restaurants in Malaysia

9 Survival Tips for Cafes and Restaurants in Malaysia

It’s a tough time for cafes and restaurants now because of coronavirus. 

Since the Malaysian Prime Minister announced the movement control order (MCO), cafes and restaurants are finding life a little more difficult. 

We know that food, drinks and kopitiam unite Malaysians. Therefore, when one’s business has to shut down, much is at stake. 

Hence, we have compiled these survival tips in the hope that it will help you through this storm. 


You’re not alone.

1. Wage Subsidy for Cafes by PERKESO

The Government is providing a wage subsidy of RM 600 per month per employee for the next three months.

It is not automatic so owners of cafes will need to register on HERE to be eligible. Applications are opened from 1 April 2020 and processed online via prihatin.perkeso.gov.my. 

Important Points: 

  • Your income must have decreased by more than 50% (you will need to sign a form to declare this) 
  • You will not be permitted to terminate or request your staff to take unpaid leave for 3 months  
  • You will also not be permitted to reduce the salary of your workers 
  • Upon application, payments will be credited into the employers’ bank account
  • However, the payment is only limited to 100 employees who earn below RM 4,000 as well as have been registered with EIS (PERKESO Employee Insurance Scheme) 

2. Employee Retention Program by PERKESO

Your workers will be eligible to get a financial assistance of RM600 per month should they agree to take unpaid leave.  

Owners of cafes will need to download Form EPRC-19 and apply immediately via e-mail to [email protected] 

Important Points: 

  • Only eligible for employees earning below RM 4,000 and have been registered with EIS 
  • Unpaid leave must be mutually agreed by employer and employee with notice given of at least 30 days 

3. Employer Advisory Services (EAS) by EPF

Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is introducing their EAS beginning April 15 to provide customised advisory support for employers, specifically with regards to the employers’ portion of EPF contributions during the economic downturn. 

Nevertheless, we will need to wait for further information to be released on this. 

4. Discount on Electricity Bills for Cafes

Tenaga Nasional Bhd is providing 2% discount on consumption of electricity usage from April 1 to Sept 30, 2020. However, this only applies to commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors. On the other hand, shopping complexes will receive a 15% discount. 

You can also read more about it HERE. 

5. SOS Partnership Campaign with OURSHOP by Airasia

AirAsia is running an SOS call to save small local businesses in OURSHOP. It is an eCommerce marketplace by Airasia over a 30-day campaign period in April.  

In brief, there is a waiver of commission fees, with minimal payment gateway fees as well as access to Airasia’s media and marketing channels. 

In fact, it is a great marketplace for homegrown brands. If you wish to proceed, you can drop them an e-mail at [email protected]. Subsequently, they will need some basic information from you. 

6. Faith for the Future by EAT Drink KL

This project by EAT Drink KL seeks to assist local restaurants, cafes and bars with their cash flow so that they can pay for their staff salaries and other expenses. In brief, customers are able to purchase a cash voucher that they can redeem for dining in within four months after their purchase. 

If you’re also interested to be a part of this project, you can e-mail [email protected].

7. Foodie+ by Penang Foodie

Penang Foodie has just launched a new app, FOODIE+, a platform where businesses can list any promotions of their choice. It is also integrated with food delivery and takeaway features. 

You can read more about their initiative on their Blog. 

Additionally, all listings on the app is completely free, and you can register HERE. 

8. Grab Food Delivery for Cafes and Restaurants

Food delivery is more important than ever now for cafes. Register to be a Food Merchant HERE. 

9. Financing Facilities by Bank Negara Malaysia

Bank Negara Malaysia is providing financing facilities to assist Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises.

To summarize, these are some of the available options:

1. Special Relief Facility (SRF) of up to RM1 million per business to alleviate short-term cash flow problems. In addition, you will receive 6 months moratorium on repayments (postponing of loan repayments). 

2. Micro Enterprises Facility (MEF) of up to RM50,000 per micro enterprise. However, you do not need any collateral to apply for it.


Generally, these facilities are provided via the banking institutions. Also, you can explore the financing options on IMSME platform. Alternatively, visit your bank’s online portal and search for SRF.


There are other facilities such as automation and digitalisation facility and all economic sectors (AES) facility.If you want more information, you can read about it on a summary schedule on Bank Negara’s website.

Please share if these tips have been very helpful to you. 

More than a pandemic, coronavirus is hurting many cafes and restaurants. However, we know, in times like this, Malaysian will always unite and rise above the storm. 

Remember, equally important, stay calm and drink tea.


p.s. if you are struggling to work from home, please also read 5 Tips to Get Past a Full Day of Work Without Dozing Off. 


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