Many customers are shocked to see that prices skyrocketed by as much as 60 percent compared to the pre-Tet period.
Most eatery and food service owners reasoned that the price increase is due to rising input costs, including cooking gas, employee wages, or rental fees.
Such an answer was given to Nguyen Quoc Viet, a resident from Go Vap District, when he complained to an eatery on Hoang Sa Street, which charged him VND50,000 (US$2.5) for a breakfast dish which used to cost only VND30,000.
The price hike, which is more than 66 percent, is unacceptable, given the recently decreasing food prices, he said.
“It is impossible for a food commodity to have that drastic a price hike,” he said, adding he will now only choose to eat at establishments where appropriate prices are listed.
The prices at most other food services around the city have also skyrocketed, with owners always blaming rising input costs.
Loose watch over price listing
It is commonplace for eateries and food services citywide not to quote prices.
With many food services only informing their customers of prices orally, instead of showing them the menus with quoted prices, they can hike prices easily, escaping detection by both customers and authorities.
An eatery on Phan Van Han Street in Binh Thanh District even uses an old menu, with all prices erased, and charges customers the unlisted prices.
Nguyen Van Tung, residing in Tan Binh District, said he was recently charged VND120,000 and VND90,000 at an eatery on Pham Ngoc Thac Street for two dishes whose prices listed in the menu were only VND90,000 and VND70,000.
“The owner said the prices on the menu were outdated,” recalled Tung.
“She said that since food prices shot up after Tet, the restaurant has had to hike prices but had yet to update the menu.
“But they did not tell me about this price hike when I ordered the food.”
An official of the municipal Market Management Agency admitted that his institution has caught many eateries as not listing prices.
However, the agency only gave them warnings, rather than penalties, he said.
Crackdowns and penalties are only imposed on violators operating in the gold, construction material, and clothing markets, not the food services, he added.
“The market management agency has sanctioned 34 services for breeching price listing regulations last month, none of which were eatery or food services.”
Saigonstay – According to Tuoitrenews