At lowest costs, restaurant food promotions turn satisfactory option in Idlib
Enab Baladi – Idlib
The 38-year-old Laila al-Sayyed follows with interest the pages of restaurants in Idlib on Facebook, hoping to find offers or discounts through which she can secure lunch for her family at an acceptable price.
The restaurant promotions relieve al-Sayyed from searching for a kind of food that she can offer to her children with the small amount that her husband leaves before going to work, according to what the housewife told Enab Baladi.
Preparing food is one of the things that haunt housewives the most these days, in light of the deteriorating conditions and high prices, al-Sayyed continued.
Restaurants offer a satisfactory solution
Many families in Idlib have found in the promotional menus of local restaurants through social media platforms a solution to the problem of searching for a meal at costs commensurate with their income, according to what was monitored by Enab Baladi.
While 100 Turkish liras is not enough to prepare a meal for a family of four, restaurants have given families the opportunity to get a meal sufficient for their needs at the cost of between 60 and 75 Turkish liras, according to al-Sayyed.
In his turn, the day laborer Abdul Aziz Khalil, 35, said that grills and ready-made meals were a luxury for a large group of families in Idlib, as the worker’s wages reach 75 Turkish liras in the best case, which is equivalent to the price of three “chicken shawarma” sandwiches.
On the other hand, the reasonable prices of restaurant meals offered on social media enabled daily workers to bring into their homes items of food that they were previously deprived of, such as meat and ready meals.
Less quality, size
Although many families tend to rely on local restaurant meals due to their low cost, these offers raise many concerns for some about the quality and validity of these meals.
Idlib-based Suhail Abdullah, 37, believes that the cheap prices are “unreasonable,” as in some cases, they are less than the price of the ingredients.
Abdullah added that these prices raise questions about the validity and quality of the materials used in the production of these foods.
Some restaurants also tend to reduce the quantity of the meal in exchange for a reduction in its price, as Saeed Mohsen, 25, was shocked by obtaining half the amount of the meal he had bought during a promotional offer by one of Idlib restaurants.
Mohsen relies on restaurant meals most of the days, as he is a university student and resides alone in Idlib city.
Anas al-Eidi believes that the quality of food during the promotion offers is often almost non-existent, as the restaurant owner tries to reduce the costs of producing the meal to match its price.
Al-Eidi added that restaurants receive many orders during promotional offers, which further reduces their quality.
Restaurant owners aim to attract more customers and promote their business through promotional meal menus.
Salem Ziwana, the owner of al-Hamidiya restaurant, told Enab Baladi that his restaurant offers are suitable for all categories, and these offers include providing a full-course meal consisting of the main dish and appetizers at half the regular price of the meal.
According to Ziwana, these offers are part of efforts to promote publicity and attract new customers since the restaurant is not located on the main streets.
The promotional offers prompted many customers to visit the restaurant frequently, especially after they were posted on its Facebook page, according to the al-Hamidiya restaurant owner.
He added that the duration of the offer varies from one restaurant to another, as some limit the duration of the promotional offers while others link them to the ingredients available for the meals.
On the other hand, promotion offers continue at some restaurants until the desired publicity is achieved.
Food merchants encourage the restaurant to announce the offers by reducing the prices of raw materials, Ziwana said.
Food merchants aim to help restaurant owners to increase the sales of meals provided by the restaurant, as the restaurant’s sales reflect positively on merchants and contribute to increasing their sales, according to the al-Hamidiya restaurant owner.
Food trader Saleh al-Adnan told Enab Baladi that he is trying to help his restaurant owners to present offers, given that the success of these restaurants and the increase in their sales mean an increase in food sales.
Al-Adnan is trying to reduce the prices of commodities and foodstuffs and to provide some items for free, sometimes to restaurant owners, according to him.
Between 75% and 80% of Syrian families suffer from a gap in income and spending to meet basic needs, according to United Nations figures.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that at least 3.3 million people suffer from food insecurity in northwestern Syria, while the number of people in need of aid is about 4.1 million.
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