Hyderabad: Vegetarian food is no longer a cheaper alternative to non-vegetarian fare if one is planning to host a function. Not just the abnormal hike in the prices of pulses but also the high cost of vegetables and paneer have resulted in prices of vegetarian food being at par with non-vegetarian food.
Mr Gavin Joseph, who owns a catering business in Secunderabad said, “Gone are the days when having a vegetarian spread was the pocket-friendly option. Now a quality vegetarian spread costs almost the same as non-vegetarian. From a small bunch of coriander to other vegetables, spices and pulses, every commodity is dearer now. In some cases, where a health conscious customer desires to have salads, it costs even more because vegetables like broccoli, lettuce or red and yellow capsicum are used which are much costlier.”
It is usually the consumer who has to shell out more money due to price rise while conducting events as in most cases the caterers provide the groceries required by the customer. However, caterers are wary about price fluctuations when it comes to contract catering wherein they agree to provide a set of food items at a pre-decided price to corporate offices, hostel messes and canteens.
Mr Kiran, head of a catering firm from Banjara Hills says, “We serve meals to canteens of eight major companies. As the price of pulses has increased by almost three times since the beginning of this year, we had requested them to allow us to hike the price of each meal by a small amount as dalcha, a thick dal recipe which requires lots of lentils, is part of their menu. Only two agreed to hike the fare by just Rs 5. As we enter into a contract, we cannot hike prices whenever there is a price rise of onion, pulses or petrol and our profit margin suffers a lot.”...