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Home / More Lifestyle / Skyrocketing tomato prices add to the woes of restaurants, already hit by the pandemic

Skyrocketing tomato prices add to the woes of restaurants, already hit by the pandemic

Hike in prices of tomatoes means restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic have another challenge to cope up with

more-lifestyle Updated: Jul 23, 2020 20:24 IST
Kritika Sehgal
Kritika Sehgal
Hindustan Times
Tomatoes are selling at ₹ 70 per kg in the Capital.
Tomatoes are selling at ₹ 70 per kg in the Capital.(Photo: Parveen Kumar/HT)

The pandemic has dealt a blow to the hospitality sector. Many restaurants have shut shop and others are struggling to stay afloat. And to add to this, the hike in prices of tomatoes is adding to their losses. Restaurateurs fear that reducing the quantity or increasing the menu prices, might negatively affect their sales.

Kabir Grover, owner of Cafe BIR, Shahpur Jat, says, “We have already incurred losses due to the lockdown and people are scared to order from restaurants. Our priority is to get the business restarted but in the current scenario, if we increase the price of dishes on the menu, that might even disturb whatever orders we are getting.”

Adding that the hike is a concern for the industry, he says, “The price of our menu depends on at what cost we are getting the raw materials. If we try to reduce the quantity or maybe reduce the dishes from the menu, that will impact our sales as well and we might lose out on customers. There might be a substitute for this but none of them will be easy on our pockets.”

Many restaurateurs say that if the cost of raw materials is increases then they might have to increase the prices on the menu as well.

“Raw material plays an important role in the taste of food and we do not compromise on the quality. As prices are increasing, it’s natural that the prices of the dishes on the menu will also increase. It is another challenge for us to maintain the quality and quantity with pricing. This pandemic has had a major impact on everyone’s finances, people might expect offers but we are not even getting raw material at a decent price,” says Saurabh Luthra, owner of Mama’s Buoi, Hudson Lane.

Echoing similar sentiments, Nikhil Arora, co-founder, The Tummy Section, Delhi, says, “It is affecting the menu especially at these times when the business isn’t exactly running smoothly. I feel that the best substitute for any loss coverage due to such issues is the hunger to build more customer base by giving what exactly the customer is looking for.”
He further adds that not just tomatoes, but they have faced a similar issue with chicken suppliers as well last month.

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