Commercial cylinder price increases by Rs. 386 from New Year

Menu could soon give you a shock as restaurants are all set to pass on to customers the increased price of essential commodities and LPG.

Expect a price rise of 10 to 20 per cent on all food items within a day or two. The hoteliers were jolted on the New Year Day as the price of commercial LGP cylinder was increased by Rs. 386.

Now, a 19kg-cylinder would cost Rs. 2184.50 and a medium-size hotel would burn three cylinders a day. The net increase in LPG cost would be around Rs. 1,200 a day for such hotels.

It’s not the LPG price hike alone that has forced the hoteliers to hike rates. The shortage of beef following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease has pushed up prices of mutton and chicken. Mutton costs Rs. 440 a kilo, marking an increase of Rs. 40 a kilo, and chicken costs Rs. 125 a kilo. Shortage of labour and increase in labour charges have also made the going tough, say hoteliers.

“If the price of foodstuff is not hiked, hoteliers would have to down shutters,” said the Ernakulam district secretary of the Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association, Azeez. The State secretariat of the association, which has around 5,000 members in the district, will meet at Kochi on Thursday to decide on the burning issue.

While the price of a cup of coffee or tea may be increased by Rs. 2 to Rs. 5, the hotels may be forced to hike the price of meal or chicken biriyani by at least Rs. 10. He said the association would not issue any directive on the price to be levied on foodstuff. It would be left to the hotels and restaurants to decide on the price depending on their investment and running cost, he said.

Poster campaign

To take customers into confidence, the association has decided to take out a poster campaign across the State. The price of LPG on December 31, 2013 and that on the New Year Day will be displayed at the hotels. The poster will explain the circumstances in which the hoteliers are forced to hike price.

Mr. Azeez said hoteliers didn’t expect a public outrage following the price rise as the public was aware of the ground realities.

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