Amid the demonetisation brouhaha, people are flocking to cheaper and modestly priced food outlets. A few of those visiting these joints claimed fast food stalls and small eateries offer value for money.
Sagar Shetty, owner of Rajendra Fast Food Corner in Borivli, said though people are wary of spending money but eating can’t stop. “Everyone feels the pinch after such a big move. But hunger is something one cannot fight. Modest food in these crunch times is the only support people need,” Shetty said, who owns two eateries in Borivli.
Omkar Swamy, owner of Sai Swad Dosa Centre, Malad, which offers south Indian breakfast and parathas, said, “People know when to spend and when to save. They have no inclination to go to exotic places and spend on four-course meals. For now, only those with valid currency or a big bank balance can indulge in leisurely lunches and dinners.”
His opinion was seconded by another eatery owner from Andheri. “I don’t think people are willing to spend the new notes. They have kept restaurant carpets and chandelier on the back burner for the moment,” said Bhikshapati Reddy.”
“Now is not the time to emphasise one’s lifestyle. It’s time fill your bellies and wait in queues outside banks and ATMs everyday before heading to work,” said Hitansh Mehta, an office-goer and a Malad resident.
Like Mehta, several claimed that fast food joints offered value for money.
Yash Valia, a regular at restaurants, said the money saved now could be used for a rainy day, “We anyway don’t have money in our hands. Spending in restaurants at such a time would make us pound-foolish.”
Adarsh Shetty, president of the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR), said they expect the situation to change in the coming days. “Consumers always have options and we have no say in that. But it doesn’t make sense to slash rates for three months and suddenly increase prices later. Taking such panicky decisions would create problems in future,” he said.
“There are other modes of payments as well. The situation is improving each day as people are getting money. It is not like the first and second day after the decision,” Shetty added.