In the vibrant and diverse culinary landscape of India, one essential ingredient stands tall – the humble onion. Loved for its versatile flavor and ubiquitous presence in Indian cuisine, this vegetable has recently been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Onion prices are expected to soar in the coming month, potentially reaching INR 55 to INR 60 per kilogram, leaving restaurant owners facing a challenging predicament.
SnackFax spoke to Founders and Chairpersons of renowned establishments to understand their strategies for dealing with this impending challenge and how it might affect their menus and prices.
Mr. Tarun Kumar Chaba, the Founder of The Big Tree Cafe, shared his insights on the matter. “Even though we have a fixed agreement with our vegetable supplier for the year, we know that onion prices are expected to go up next month, possibly reaching INR 55- INR 60 per kg,” he states. To navigate this issue, Mr. Chaba’s restaurant plans to make several changes to their menu, such as using fewer onions and finding suitable substitutes. They may also need to adjust menu prices gradually to avoid inconveniencing their guests.
In a bid to support local farmers and reduce costs, The Big Tree Cafe will explore using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Transparent communication with their customers is paramount. “We want to keep them informed and hope they understand our challenges. We’re going to focus on running our kitchen efficiently, reducing waste, and using ingredients wisely,” Mr. Chaba affirms. He adds that staff training to use onions more efficiently and avoid overstocking will also be a key component of their strategy. Despite these challenges, their commitment to providing great dining experiences at affordable prices remains unwavering.
Float, a restaurant known for its supply chain management prowess, sees this challenge as an opportunity to showcase its resilience. Founder Varun Puri explains, “Our past experiences have demonstrated that strong supply chain management is effective in maintaining stability. Additionally, we have confidence in the proactive decision of the central government to release onions from their buffer stocks.”
Varun believes that such government interventions benefit both establishments and households, “This action is seen as a significant step to mitigate the expected increase in onion costs, which is a key ingredient in many dishes. Efficient supply chain management and government interventions like releasing buffer stocks are vital strategies to ensure that food remains affordable and accessible during periods of price volatility.”
Dearie, another player in the culinary world, also boasts a robust supply chain management system. Founder Akshay Chauhan expresses confidence in their approach, “Amidst the ever-fluctuating vegetable market prices, our restaurant proudly showcases the success of its robust supply chain management system in effectively tackling these challenges. Our track record attests to the effectiveness of this approach in maintaining stability.”
Akshay appreciates the government’s proactive stance, “Moreover, we express confidence in the proactive measures taken by the central government, particularly their decision to release onions from their buffer stocks. This action is a significant move toward mitigating the anticipated surge in onion costs, a crucial ingredient in many of our dishes.”
Romeo Lane, under the guidance of Chairman Saurabh Luthra, is committed to striking a balance between quality and affordability. Saurabh explains their approach, “We are actively pursuing various approaches to ensure that we strike a harmonious equilibrium between maintaining quality and affordability for our valued customers.”
He emphasizes their dedication to enhancing the overall dining experience, “Our focus will remain on enhancing the overall dining experience, which encompasses exceptional service and an inviting ambiance, thereby justifying any necessary price adjustments.”‘
Dr. Shruti Malik, Founder of Anardana, reassures their patrons about the restaurant’s unwavering commitment to maintaining quality and quantity in their dishes. “While external factors may drive up costs,” she assures, “our team at Anardana is committed to providing you with the same exceptional dining experience you expect from us.” Dr. Malik emphasizes their refusal to compromise on the essence of their dishes and their readiness to absorb as much of the increased costs as possible without burdening their valued patrons.
Anardana remains steadfast in their commitment to affordability and guarantees that the quality of their food will not suffer, promising to always serve their patrons the best.
In the face of rising onion prices, these restaurant owners and founders stand united in their commitment to preserving the integrity of Indian cuisine while ensuring that their valued patrons continue to enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank. Their innovative approaches, ranging from supply chain management to ingredient substitutions, highlight their dedication to the culinary arts and their unwavering support for local communities. As diners, we can look forward to savoring the rich flavors of Indian cuisine while appreciating the efforts made to keep it accessible and affordable.