Eating and drinking out will cost more as restaurants and hotels in Mumbai have hiked food and liquor prices by 10% to 20%, citing inflation, increase in license fees and multiple taxes.
“The prices of food items have become costlier and even other costs have risen remarkably. The hike is inevitable,” said Naveen Prem, who owns Kipos, a restaurant in Bandra.
“We have no option, but to hike our rates to survive,” said Arvind Shetty, owner, Utsav Restaurant and Bar, Juhu.
In the Union budget, the Centre hiked service charge to 14% from 12.3%. In addition, the state government increased liquor license fee for permit rooms by Rs 54,000 to Rs 5.98 lakh from Rs 5.44 lakh. This, despite the fact that 90 restaurants in the city shut down last year owing to their inability to pay such high fees.
Currently, even raw materials such as vegetables and spices become dearer. Even mutton prices have increased following ban on beef.
According to the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), the taxes have become a big burden, as they consume approximately 38% of the total billing amount. “It is becoming difficult to run a restaurant in such a high taxation regime,” said Kamlesh Barot, former president, HRWAI. He warned that such measures will only give boost to the unorganised sector, which is detrimental to the health of the citizens.