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Restaurants on price hike of vegetables: ‘Can’t change prices on menu, will lose customers’

Indian Express 2019-11-09 04:41:01
Restaurant owners and managers say they have no option but to deal with the price hike. (File)

Written by Rupal Jhajhria and Mitali Dhar

RESTAURANTS ARE also feeling the heat from the price rise of vegetables in the markets as even the prices of basic vegetables across most dishes of different cuisines, such as the onion, has seen a drastic rise.

Restaurant owners and managers told The Indian Express that the prices of vegetables had shot up drastically and were being sold at unreasonably high prices.

Prerna Kapoor from a restaurant in Viman Nagar said they had no choice but to put up with the increased prices. “Our restaurant maintains contracts with vendors who provide us with vegetables at fixed rates. But the situation is quite troublesome now. Due to the extended rains, the prices have increased; if I order 10 kg of tomatoes, I get about 3 kg at the previous rates. The remaining quantity then has to be purchased from outside, regardless of how expensive it is. Thus, the price hike has definitely impacted the prices on our menu,” Prerna said.

“Ours is a Chinese restaurant and if we do not provide dishes with broccoli, the dish would not be the same. Customers would not appreciate it and this, in turn, might affect our brand name. We cannot compromise with the quantity and quality of the dishes, as we aim to live up to the expectations that our customers associate with our brand,” Kapoor added.

“We are running our restaurant in pretty much the same way. We will incur quite a lot of losses due to the increased prices, especially of the onion. We are paying almost double the price than what we normally would, which is difficult. We cannot revise our menu all of a sudden,” said Kumail Sallah, a manager of an eatery in Kalyani Nagar.

Shyam Singh from a restaurant in Shivaji Nagar also said it was not wise to keep revising the prices on the menu. “The prices keep fluctuating and this time too, we are dealing with the hike. We do not really have a choice. These rates keep fluctuating and then go back to normal. We cannot keep changing the rates on the menu. We have managed so far,” Singh said.

Amit Sabharwal, owner of a food truck outlet said, “We will lose out on customers if we increase the prices or reduce the quantity of food that we serve. Restaurants can barely sustain at times like these. Our customers, on the other hand, expect us to provide discounts or offers. Unlike big restaurants and food chains, small food joints like the one that I own, have to bear tremendous losses. Garlic that was priced at Rs 45 per kg is now being sold at around 240 per kg. I cannot increase the prices at the same rate. We cannot cut down on the number of onions either. Dishes like tawa chicken gravy or the salad that we serve with tikkas and starters require onions in a good amount.”

Jai Prakash from an eatery in Viman Nagar said he had adjusted with the hardships. “There is no hope of making profits with these prices. Even a basic herb like coriander is overpriced. We can do nothing but keep serving without tampering with the rates, quality or quantity of the food.”