The COVID-19 pandemic has hit almost all businesses, including food. Even the established family-based culinary businesses affected by the pandemic. For example, Tugimin business, Pak Min’s Chicken Soup, which is now trying to survive and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Family Culinary Businesses Pak Min’s Chicken Soup and Gudeg Yu Djum Rack Their Brains

Sop Ayam Pak MinAfter Tugimin’s death, the chicken soup business from Klaten, Central Java. The business run by his four children, Sihono, Sih Mulyoto, Triyono, and Ragil. Each of his four children managed to establish dozens of branches all over Indonesia. His second son, Sih Mulyoto, for example, has 39 branches throughout Indonesia.

Tri Saki Budi Hartono, who works as the operational person in charge of Pak Min Chicken Soup. Managed by Sih Mulyoto, who admits that his profits have dropped dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the past, the average net profit was Rp. 35 million to Rp. 40 million per month, now it is around Rp. 4 million,” said Tri when contacted by Tirto reporter, Friday (17/7/2020).

“We are now only defending so that employees can still work,” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused sales to drop dramatically, buyers unmitigatedly decreased by more than 60 percent. However, even though the profits were insignificant they still open their stalls and manage a strategy. About 400 employees in all branches are working in shifts. According to him, this solution is the best rather than having to terminate employment (layoffs).

“For example, in one shop there are 20 employees who work only 10 of them take turns,” he said.

They also have to do it to convince buyers that their stalls are safe from COVID-19. Employees must wear masks and always have their body temperature measured before starting work. Meanwhile, even though there are not many buyers at their stalls. Buyers must keep their distance by sitting on the available spot.

Rely on Gudeg Cans

Warung Gudeg Yu Djum too. After Djuwariyah, the pioneer of the Gudeg Yu Djum shop passed away. The Yogyakarta culinary business passed to Djuwariyah’s children and even grandchildren.

The first shop Djuwariyah start, now passed to the son. Harianto and his wife Eni Widiastuty. Gudeng Yu Djum 167 is one of the restaurant in Kampung Wijilan, Yogyakarta City.

Eni Widiastuty told Tirto, Friday (17/7) that since the pandemic, its sales have decreased drastically. Several days at the start of the pandemic, he even had to close the shop. The area of ‚Äč‚ÄčKampung Wijilan, which was a tourist destination, was quiet.

Eni also faced a dilemma at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has to choose two options to keep opening the shop with minimal income. Or closing the shop at the expense of his employees.

“If we close, we will continue to feel sorry for the employees. Even if we open, we have to pay employees while the income drops drastically,” said Eni.

The Beginning of Canned Gudeg

He then took various ways. The canned gudeg product that has been produced so far was intensified again to get income. He has promoted through various media. Also took advantage of the food delivery service. This was quite helpful to keep earning income, he stated. Even though sales were not as busy as before the pandemic.

Eni seemed a little grateful entered mid-June 2020, he said there had been a slight increase. This is none other than the aftermath of government policy. That began to loosen residents to do activities outside the home. But as a consequence, stalls also have to implement strict health protocols.

He must prepare masks and face shields for employees as well as hand sanitizer. “Indeed, we have to spend a lot, but we can’t increase the price of [food],” he said.

Relax Tourism

The Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY) Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X has previously allowed regencies/cities to reopen. Places such as tourist attractions, hotels, and restaurants. The Sultan hopes that the economy will continue to grow even in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pulse of the people’s economy in Yogyakarta, among others, comes from the tourism sector. With easing the policy, they believe the economy will return to a beat.

According to the Sultan, economic activities and COVID-19 prevention must go hand in hand. Because according to him no one can confirm when this pandemic will end.

“I also communicate with the regents. No problem. Please if you want to open a hotel, restaurant, tourist attraction and so on. Go ahead,” said the Sultan to reporters on Thursday (2/7/2020).

Professor of Economics at the University of Gadjah Mada (UGM), Mudrajad Kuncoro. He said that the decline in the tourism sector in Yogyakarta during the pandemic also affected restaurants and hotels. This then caused economic growth in the ‘student city’ to contract by minus more than 5 percent.

According to him, with the current condition of Yogyakarta, coupled with an increase in inequality and poverty. It will take a long time to restore Yogyakarta’s economy.