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Up, up and away

Thanks to rising food prices, a meal at a fast food joint may soon be a costlier affair.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2010 21:47 IST
Aroma Sah

Mumbaikars will soon have to shell out 25 to 30 per cent more to enjoy a meal in even a small restaurant. And thanks to rising food prices, very soon quick service restaurants in Delhi, too, may not remain as cheap as before.

McDonald’s, a popular fast food chain, for instance, increased the price of the least-costly item on its menu from Rs 20 to Rs 25 a few months back, and is planning for yet another hike.

“Food inflation has affected us. We’re under pressure to increase the prices across our system. We’ve done everything possible to hold the prices. But even with the 5-10 per cent price increase, we’ll take a hit on profitability,” says Vikram Bakshi, managing director, McDonald’s India (North and East).

Nirula’s, a quick service restaurant, also increased its prices marginally recently. Prices of some chicken items, pizzas and ice creams have been hiked.

KFC, too, introduced a 2.5-3 per cent raise for few items. While Hot Flames, a popular item amongst youngsters, continues to sell at Rs 35, rice meals have seen an increase from Rs 129 per meal to Rs 135.

Unnat Varma, director-marketing, KFC says, “Customers are not complaining now as this increase is close to nothing. Rather, we witnessed a boost in business since the increase.”

Owners believe that in six to eight months, food costs will come down but if not, another revision would be inevitable.

Barista COO Sanjay Coutinho is also waiting till the end of the quarter [March] to make a decision.

Another fast food chain, Pizza Hut that saw its last price revision in October 2008 is now looking at revamping their rates. “We had been observing the market but our new prices menu will be effective in around two months,” reveals Anup Jain, director-marketing, Pizza Hut.

So with a date at a cafe or a pizza party becoming more expensive, teenagers, college goers and first-time earners are finding themselves in a tight spot.