Bigger bills for biryani fans, low profit for eateries

Skyrocketing input costs push up the price of iconic Hyderabadi dish

Published - May 17, 2022 11:39 pm IST - HYDERABAD

With biryani ingredients becoming dearer, several restaurants have been forced to increase the price of the much-loved dish over the past few weeks to factor in labour and input costs.

With biryani ingredients becoming dearer, several restaurants have been forced to increase the price of the much-loved dish over the past few weeks to factor in labour and input costs. | Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

Sometime in early 2017, Bawarchi restaurant near RTC Crossroad introduced a mini biryani. It was a smaller portion of the iconic dish at less than half the usual price — ₹90. Five years down the line, the same dish is priced ₹140 on a food delivery app. The mini biryani has been a rage as it can satiate the hunger pangs of one person with just enough to spare, at a reasonable price.

But rising food prices has impacted the mini biryani as well. At Shah Ghouse in Toli Chowki, a mini chicken biryani costs ₹110 while the full plate costs twice as much, at ₹220. A mutton mini biryani comes for ₹150 and full plate for ₹230.

“We have been forced to increase the prices by 5%. For the past two years, we didn’t have business, and now we are facing this runaway inflation. We are scared to increase the rates as customers are thinking about the cost of eating out,” says Mohammed Rabbani of Shah Ghouse Café in Gachibowli.

“Luckily for us, the patronage has not declined. But I hope the prices of food items come down,” says Mr. Rabbani, worried about the bottom line.

“People don’t have enough money. If we increase the prices, we fear it will hurt our business. Our profit has taken a beating. High electricity bills due to a savage summer and GST have added to our woes,” says Mohammed Majeed of Pista House.

Factor in the cost of delivery, and the inflation truly bites. A mini chicken biryani from Meridian in Panjagutta cost ₹152 in July 2019. The same dish delivered to the same location two years later in April 2022 cost ₹194.

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