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Eating out in plush restaurants may not pinch you more, just yet



You may not have to shell out more while eating out at your favourite restaurants and bars just yet.

Restaurateurs said they are under pressure due to fluctuating input costs, but will not increase prices in the immediate term and are in a wait-and-watch mode.

“Input costs are fluctuating based on fuel prices and other on-ground supply restrictions. Obviously, weather-related issues in certain geographies of India are also impacting us. We are seeing prices increasing in raw materials and other utilities such as gases and cylinders. It has all happened fairly quickly in the last two months,” said Kabir Suri, president of the National Restaurant Association of India and co-founder of Azure Hospitality that operates brands such as Mamagoto and Sly Granny.

“Some brands could look at price revisions in the current quarter. Ultimately the burden will fall on the consumer. But for now, we are waiting to see how long this will last. it’s a wait-and-watch game. We are not hiking prices at our restaurant brands for now,” he added.

Riyaaz Amlani, chief executive of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality that runs restaurant brands including Social, Saltwater Cafe, Slink & Bardot and Smokehouse Deli, said he is not considering hiking prices at his restaurant brands and will wait it out for a month.

“Prices have gone up not just for raw materials for food but also for building restaurants. We are hoping that the supply-chain situation will improve. If we do not see things turning around, we will have no option but to hike prices after a month,” he added.

Beer Cafe CEO Rahul Singh said restaurants are anyway operating at 50% capacity and customers have just started coming back. “Liquor prices are fixed by the excise department in advance. Gas costs, electricity costs have gone up, but I don’t know of any bar that has hiked prices. It’s all about getting customers back now. We can’t afford to (hike prices),” he added.

Cafe Delhi Heights owner Vikrant Batra referred to the issues of rising input costs as “unfortunate”.

“We had just started to come back to business and our repeat customers are over 75%. All the imported items, opex costs, capital costs are going up. Petrol, diesel prices are disturbing the logistics. Import logistics are also getting disrupted,” he said.

“We can’t compromise on the quality. We are a casual dining cafe so there has to be a limit to the hike. There is no hike for now, but we are currently working on the costs and are seeing how bad it could be,” he said. “We may look at a moderate price rise for three months. In our business we can’t look at changing prices every two to three weeks.”

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