Monday, August 03, 2009


Hoteliers Hit By Tur Dal Price Rise. Result: Sambar Makes Idli, Dosa Costlier Burden Passed On To Customers
— Sruthy Susan Ullas

Bangalore: Does your pocket feel unusually light even after a dosa-sambar or a South Indian thali? Blame it on the increased price of tur dal. Hotels serving items made of the gram have increased prices by almost 10% to avoid loss. So, a masala dosa priced earlier at Rs 20 may now cost you Rs 22.
The hike is up to a maximum of Rs 5 for idli, vada, dosa, rice bath and thali. Hotels say hikes at such a low range are rare, though Re-1 jump is not new. While most of them introduced new rates from July 1, some did so earlier than that.
“The increase was inevitable. We cannot compromise on quality and replace tur dal with any other pulse. We had no option but to increase the price,” said Chandrashekar, front office manager, Maya International Hotel.
Some of them are still sceptical about making profit at the end of this month. “On an average, at least five hotels shut down or change management every month. Price rise has been a major reason why they are recording losses these days,” said Vasudeva Adiga, president, Bangalore Hotel Owners’ Association.
“If the price of tur dal keeps increasing, hotels will have to resort to other dals like Bengal gram. This has happened with other ingredients like onion before,” Adiga added.
It was inevitable
For hotel owners, it is a question of customer satisfaction and quality, keeping in mind the competition next door.
There has been a decrease in the number of customers after the price hike. Regulars are opting for tiffin boxes from home as hotel food is becoming unaffordable. Others, mostly office-goers and students, are shifting to roadside food, compromising on their health.
“I usually eat lunch at a hotel near my office as my wife also works. But she gets up early these days to make lunch because we are finding it difficult to eat out every day,” said Ajay Mathews, a BPO employee.
Hotel owners say customers were initially surprised. “But they understand the problem as they face it at home. One can decrease the quantity used at home. But we are helpless,” said Mahadev, manager, Kaycee’s Coffee Shop.
After recession, the tur dal shock seems to have doubly burdened hotels.


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