Hoteliers in fix due to high food inflation
To offset the increasing costs, tamarind rice was made to serve as a lower price alternative to tomato rice.
MADURAI: Many hoteliers are weighed down by soaring prices of vegetables, forcing them to increase the rates of food items in the coming days.
If this unhealthy trend prolongs for another fortnight, then the price of food items would go up by about 20 to 30 per cent, K Lakshmana Kumar, president, Madurai Hotels Association and vice president, Tamil Nadu Hotels Association (TNHA) said on Thursday.
Several hoteliers were already bearing the brunt of increase in prices of gas cylinders, electricity charges and labour cost. To offset the increasing costs, tamarind rice was made to serve as a lower price alternative to tomato rice. As many opted to cook tamarind rice, the price of tamarind also rose. Apart from these, a kilo of basmati rice also increased by Rs 5, now. Most of the hotels have already been witnessing a low turnout since many households accounted for a sizable proportion of expenditure on schools, he told DT Next.
According to R Srinivasan, secretary, TNHA, “prices of vegetables keep fluctuating depending on situations, but we can’t go with sudden rate hike for food items. Now, it’s time to bear the cost of rising food prices for some days, despite heavy losses.”
C Rajkumar, president, Dindigul District Hotels Association, said normally the hoteliers here would withstand high price on vegetables for a period of up to six months and increase food price later. But, now the cost of vegetables recorded a three-fold increase, compelling them to go for a price hike for mere survival. At times when tomato price nosedived to Rs 10 a kilo, it remained easily affordable. But, now its price skyrocketed to Rs 120 a kg. Citing these, he sought the government to provide cold storage facilities for vegetables to maintain a stable price of food items.
K Mujibur Rahman, hotelier from Dindigul, said with prices of tomatoes at Rs 120 a kg, small onion at Rs 240 a kg, ginger at Rs 300 and garlic at price beyond Rs 240, ready to eat biryani went up by five per cent. Many small hoteliers are on the verge of closure, he said.