Managing A Cost Efficient Kitchen In Times Of Price Volatility
Express Food & Hospitality|February 2020
The second day of the 39th edition of EF&H Expo saw executive chefs and F&B heads of leading hotels in Mumbai voice their views on the challenges and opportunities faced by them in running a cost efficient kitchen during times of volatility in pricing of staple ingredients.
Akshay Nayak

The first panel discussion on the second day of the three-day hospitality expo witnessed the presence of Chef Aungshuman Chakraborty, executive chef, The Leela Mumbai; Roger Marti, F&B director, Grand Hyatt Mumbai; Chef Sidney Dcunha, executive chef, Conrad Pune; Chef Gautam Mehrishi, executive chef, Renaissance Mumbai; Chef Sudhir Pai, F&B consultant, Pai & Associates; Chef Rajesh Shetty, executive chef, GVK Lounge, Travel Food Services; Chef Gopal Jha, executive chef, Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach; Chef Avisek Chand, executive chef, Royal Orchid Central Grazia; Chef Ranjan Rajani, executive chef, Hotel Sahara Star; Chef Neeraj Rawoot, executive chef, Sofitel Mumbai BKC; Chef Irfan Pabaney, country head, Sodabottleopenerwala, and Sunil Athalye; senior executive chef, Ramada Plaza Palm Grove, sharing their insights at the Chef's Knowledge Exchange panel discussion on the topic: “Managing a cost efficient kitchen in times of price volatility”

While the country is facing a six-year high inflation and decrease in overall production right from agriculture to manufacturing, Chef Chakraborty opened the panel discussion by pointing out that the change in price of goods does impact the cost of the dishes on the menu. “The cost in turn impacts the production for bulk cooking and a la carte, so there has to be some factor to control the increase in price,” he said.

Marti opined, “I can only agree on that. With such increase in prices, especially that of onions, the dynamic pricing gradually impacts the cost stability in turn impacting the bottomline.” Working in a luxury hotel in Pune, Chef Dcunha informed that, “We have more suppliers from Mumbai, so it does get challenging for them when the prices of ingredients see a landslide change. Like onion prices, it has moved dramatically from Rs 20-30 per kg to as high as Rs 150 per kg, so that does become very challenging in operating kitchens”.

Chef Shetty too mentioned, “Like everybody said, the prices are up and beyond our control, so we have taken steps to minimise costs like tracking our inventory system; our purchase and sales meet keep going on daily basis, hence driving out the extra costs, etc.”

Chef Rajani lamented, “Given that we have huge banquets in a day, there is little that we can do to the prices of staples such as tomatoes and onions, hence making it challenging for us.”

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