From traditional masseuse to burger seller

Rosni’s burgers

By Nazrinzulaiqa Hasbi

KUCHING: How do you find the Covid-19 pandemic? Chaotic? Challenging? Has it changed your life forever? 

There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed our work and lives. 

There are lots of untold survival stories during this pandemic and one is about Rosni Ahmad, a certified traditional masseuse turned burger seller.

Rosni, 46, once worked at a spa in her village called Spa Manja, Batu Kawa and was there for three years.

She stopped working at the spa due to the demands of her responsibilities as a mother.

She was involved in traditional massage for about 13 years before she started working at the spa.

When the villagers still sought her services, Rosni continued to provide traditional massage to them from her home. 

“My massage service was only for women and my services included whole body massages. I could earn RM35 to RM70 each time,” she explained.

Rosni added she could earn around RM5,400 per month by providing the services before the pandemic.

Then, one day, she decided to stop providing the services for the fear of contracting the virus.  

“When my income decreased sharply due to the Covid-19, I had to think of alternative ways to survive during the pandemic,” she said.

“I have five children and they are growing up; some are still in school and studying at universities. 

“I had to assist my husband by lessening the family’s burden.”

One day, Rosni decided to open a burger business.

And it was all because of her son, Mohd Thaqiffaiz Hasbi, 17, who had worked as a burger seller in Moyan Square at night before the pandemic.

Since he was 12 years old, Thaqiffaiz had been helping an uncle to sell burgers. He worked to lessen his family’s financial hardship. 

“I was reluctant to allow him to work at night because I was afraid, he would be tired.

“But I knew he needed some pocket money for his expenses,” explained Rosni.

Utilising the experience and skills he had acquired, Thaqiffaiz taught Rosni and his siblings how to make burgers.

Because he is still studying and coping with online classes, sometimes his siblings replace him at his mother’s burger stall.

Rosni used her savings to purchase equipment and started her burger business on a small scale at her house.

“I used the savings from my previous business as my husband’s money to buy the equipment and the necessary things,” she explained.

 “At first, it was quite challenging as the economy was not doing well due to the pandemic,” she added.

Then Rosni discovered social media and used the Facebook and WhatsApp to promote and market her burgers. 

“Because of this, I was able to advertise my burgers to a broader public and attract more customers,” she told New Sarawak Tribune.

 Rosni is ecstatic to receive positive feedback from her clients about her burgers.

Rosni’s burgers

Now, she makes between RM300 and RM500 each month from her burger business.

Although the earnings are not as high as in a traditional massage business, she is grateful she can still earn some money during the pandemic.

“I am grateful I can lessen my husband’s financial burden and can still buy groceries and other necessities,” she explained.

Currently, Rosni provides delivery and take away services from home for her customers.

She hopes that the current restrictions will be relaxed soon so that she can deliver her burgers to clients far away.

“The delivery service is best at this moment because people are more likely to buy food online.

“So far, most of my customers are from Kuching, especially in Matang and Malihah.

“They are also willing to pay for the delivery services, which makes my job of delivering the burgers to them easier,” she said.

Depending on the locations, the delivery charges are between RM2 and RM6.

The burgers cost between RM1.80 and RM6.00 each. They comprise egg, beef, hot dog and lamb burgers.

You can order Rosni’s burgers from 2pm to 8pm daily via the WhatsApp app.