Onions may bring more tears: Eating out to cost more?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 26, 2015 14:07 IST
Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu/HT

A popular food joint in Lalbaug is giving its patrons fewer onion slices in the complimentary salad. Some other restaurants in the city are mulling raising the rates of dishes on their menu. The costly onion may make eating out more expensive.

The rise in onion prices has come on the back of an increase in prices of other essential ingredients such as pulses and other vegetables – burdening the restaurant sector that is already struggling to stay afloat, amid tax hikes.

Hoteliers are now adopting a ‘wait and watch’ approach, according to Arvind Shetty, the former president of the Indian Hotels and Restaurant Association (AHAR).

“Onions are a main ingredient, and any hike directly affects our profit margins,” Shetty said. “We are waiting for the government to take action to ease prices, otherwise, we will be forced to increase the rates on our menu card.”

Over the past few weeks, the prices of a number of basic cooking ingredients have gone up. Restaurants are reluctant to increase prices, because the high costs of eating out are already bringing in fewer people.

“We are trying our best to cut corners to tide over the situation,” said Naresh Shetty, the owner of the Lalbaug restaurant, Sri Krishna Veg Heaven. “We cannot change our menu, so we are waiting for things to improve,” he said.

Onion prices, however, are likely to come down in a week or so, once stocks arrive from the southern states and from Egypt, sources said.

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