Wednesday, 6 July, 2022

Eating out gets costlier

Prices are rising for nearly everything, biting into everyone's income. Adding to their woes, the fixed-income people and the poor who rely on hotels and restaurants for their meals or snacks have to pay more though they get less food since foodstuffs have become pricey. Eating out at restaurants is getting costlier as inflation-hit restaurants are implementing price hikes. According to media reports, a number of restaurants have either hiked menu prices in different degrees or have reduced the size of items to offset cost pressures as raw material prices are climbing up, fuel prices are hitting record highs, and the supply chain disrupted. And the price hike by restaurants creates additional pressure on people with limited income.

It has a big impact. The poor have already cut off many essential items from their monthly list and now those who have to take food from restaurants are feeling the pinch, being compelled to buy more for the reduced size of items. When prices go up, they have less slack in their budgets to offset and they are quick to fall into hardship. Day-labours and working people are now either escaping mid-day meals and snacks or remaining half-fed. A number of office goers who had lunch outsides are seen taking lunch from home to their workplaces. Meanwhile, many others now return home as soon as possible after office time and eat dinner a little earlier than they usually did to save the cost of afternoon snacks.

If global prices continue to rise, there will be an impact, especially on lower-income families who spend a bigger proportion of their income on food. And being small entrepreneurs, the owners of small hotels and restaurants cannot but increase the price of foodstuffs as the inflation has reduced their profit margin. Although the prices of all essential commodities have increased, restaurant owners are charging more for food items than the input price hike. The matter to be concerned about is that everyone is taking advantage of the situation in our country.