Fighting Economic Downturn: A Saga of Gastronomic Compromises

12 03 2009



A few days back, Warren Buffett in an interview to CNBC not only mentioned that the US economy had fallen off a cliff but people were changing their habits like he had never seen.


Looks like the economic slowdown has not spared the  passionate foodies of  Hyderabad (and Secunderabad) either. I heard a colleague who met with the manager of a restaurant called Arya Tiffins Centre in Secunderabad. It is a typical Udupi kind of joint which serves South Indian breakfast and snack items like Dosa, Idli, Uttappam, Vada etc along with   beverages. It is frequented by office-goers and middle class families. It has a thriving business, with people having to wait to get a seat during rush hours. Its average daily sale was about Rs 1,45,000, until six months ago.


Even today, the rush at Arya Tiffins is more or less the same. Yet, the daily average sale has dropped sharply to Rs 1,05,000 – a drop of over 30%.  The manager blames it on the trading down of eaters due to the slowdown. While the sales of inexpensive   but bland idlis have gone up significantly, down are the sales of fancied items like paneer dosas , mushroom uthappams ,  flavored milkshakes etc.


No wonder, the  McDonald scrip is soaring at the US bourses.  


– G. Mohan




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