According to restaurant owners, some have closed due to the decrease in customers in Loikaw, capital of Karenni State.
A woman who runs a noodle shop said she had to close her shop for the past two months due to the lack of customers. “There are fewer people eating at our shop. It is also difficult to get ingredients. At first, we operated on a reduced scale, but due to higher labor costs and raw food prices, and the smaller number of people coming to eat, we have now closed the shop. We can’t say when we will be able to reopen.” she said.
Currently, almost the entire state of Karenni is in a state of war, and many businesses in the city of Loikaw have closed, so young people are unemployed. Consumers say that they are having financial difficulties to shop because their incomes are down and prices are rising. “Business is not as good as it used to be. People’s incomes are lower and the prices have risen sharply since the coup, so I can’t go out to eat anymore,” said a Loikaw resident.
A woman who sells meat said that some restaurants are still open, but sales are not as good as before. “The shops are less crowded. There are not as many people eating out. Now, I’m thinking about whether to keep the shop open or move to another city. I don’t know how things will be, so it’s difficult,” said the meat seller.
Some Loikaw restaurants and bars that relied heavily on alcohol and beer sales are severely affected by the military curfew, since most of their sales were in the evening hours.